Crime - Sacto 911

Man convicted after cannabis lab explodes, displaces 146 in Rancho Cordova

A Rancho Cordova man faces eight years in prison after being convicted of unlawfully manufacturing cannabis and recklessly causing an explosion in his apartment.

Wade Stevenson, 47, convicted Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court, is to be sentenced Oct. 2, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

In January 2014, firefighters responded to calls of an explosion and fire at Stevenson’s apartment unit on Mills Tower Road. Police found an illegal butane honey oil extraction laboratory set up in the ground floor residence’s bathroom.

The medium-sized, personal lab had two extraction tubes packed with marijuana leaves and 15 empty cans of butane, according to district attorney’s officials. There weren’t any plants in the apartment, but three smoking devices were present.

The blast destroyed a neighbor’s apartment wall and window. The structural damage caused the apartment complex to discontinue electrical, gas and water supply, forcing 146 residents to leave.

Stevenson caught fire during the explosion and was treated at the UC Davis Medical Center’s burn unit.