Portland Man Sentenced to 8 Months for Endangering Children in Hash Oil Explosion

A Portland man was sentenced to eight months in prison this week after admitting his involvement in a hash oil explosion in northeast Portland that endangered the lives of his three children.

Christopher James Hughes, 30, a resident of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced on Monday to eight months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for endangering human life while illegally manufacturing hash oil, a concentrated form of marijuana extracted from cannabis plants or from hasish.

According to court documents, on March 7, 2016, Hughes was using compressed butane gas to extract hash oil from marijuana in a shed attached to a residence in northeast Portland. During the process, an individual in an adjacent room lit a cigarette lighter, igniting an explosion of remnant butane gas.

The explosion created a fireball that burned the defendant and the contents and walls of the shed. The blast knocked the shared wall of the shed and residence from its attachment to the ceiling.

At the time of the explosion and fire, three children were inside the residence, including an infant under the age of 1. All of the children were safely evacuated and none sustained any physical injuries. Law enforcement seized marijuana, a Pyrex dish containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and dozens of cans of butane gas from the shed.

Hughes pleaded guilty to the charge — one count of endangering human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance — on Feb. 20.

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