Bend man sentenced to federal prison for 2018 hash oil explosion

PORTLAND, Ore.— A Bend man was sentenced today to to 12 months and one day in federal prison and two years’ supervised release for illegally manufacturing and possessing marijuana during a March 2018 butane honey oil (BHO) explosion in Bend.

According to court documents, on March 18, 2018, Bend police officers responded to an explosion at a residence where 33-year-old David Paulsen lived with his wife, Jennifer Paulsen, 34, and their 3-year-old daughter.

Witnesses reported that, following the explosion, the Paulsens were running around their house, putting items in their truck and car, and telling neighbors not to call the police. Witnesses also reported that David Paulsen gave his daughter to a neighbor and told the neighbor to tell police that she had been with the neighbor during the explosion. Both Paulsens suffered severe burns.

During a search of the residence, investigators discovered more than 34 pounds of marijuana, multiple butane cans, and a BHO extraction device. BHO is a concentrated form of marijuana extracted using highly flammable or combustible solvents. Investigators believe David Paulsen was operating an illegal and unlicensed open flame BHO lab in his house, which caused the explosion.

On July 18, 2018, the Paulsens were charged by a federal grand jury with manufacturing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana and endangering a human life while illegally manufacturing a controlled substance.

On September of this year, David Paulsen pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing or possessing with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana. Prior to David Paulsen’s sentencing in federal court, Jennifer Paulsen pleaded guilty and was sentenced for unlawful delivery of marijuana in Deschutes County Circuit Court. The government moved to dismiss Jennifer Paulsen’s federal charges during her husband’s sentencing.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bend Police Department. It was prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Image courtesy KBND.

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