Law enforcement officials raided a sprawling home in Westford on Wednesday and found an alleged drug lab making butane honey oil, a potent form of marijuana that officials say is gaining popularity.
Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Agency and Westford police officers arrested five people in the operation at the four-bedroom, 5.5-bath home at 2 Mountain View Lane. An additional person turned herself in and was arrested hours after the raid. Of those arrested, four were members of the same family: a mother, father, and their two children.
According to the DEA, the drug, also known as “wax” or “dabs,” can be four times stronger than high-grade marijuana. Such labs are becoming more common, but this is Westford’s first case, police Captain Victor Neal said.
The labs are dangerous because of the gas they use to extract THC from marijuana, Neal said. Butane is highly flammable and known to cause household explosions, he said. To contain the risk, Neal said, the State Police Bomb Squad secured the house before troopers collected evidence.
“Their alleged lab operations compromised the safety and security of their neighbors, as well as the law enforcement officials who arrested the suspects today,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said in a statement.
Four of those arrested, Bradley C. Heath Sr., 63, Diana Heath, 61, Bradley C. Heath II, 22, and Linley M. Heath, 28, lived at the house, authorities said.
The colonial-style home, outfitted with clapboard siding, is valued at nearly $830,000, according to property records. Aerial news photographs of the property show a backyard pool.
The other two people arrested were identified as Lindsey T. Holston, 20, of Westford, who is the girlfriend of Bradley Heath II, and Prachi S. Joglekar, 22, of Groton, a friend of Linley Heath’s.
The six pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in Ayer District Court on Wednesday to charges of manufacturing a Class C substance, possession with intent to distribute a Class C substance, and conspiracy to violate drug laws, Ryan’s office said.
Bradley Heath II also was charged with possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance, possession of a Class B substance, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. For this case, Judge Michael Brooks set his bail at $30,000 cash, but detained him without bail on a probation violation for a previous case.
Brooks set the bail for Bradley Heath Sr., Diana Heath, Linley Heath, and Joglekar at $500 cash each. Holston’s bail was set at $1,000 cash.
The next hearing in the case is set for June 27.