Suspect in gun and drug bust arraigned
A suspect awaits his trial setting after copious amounts of drugs, and several firearms were reportedly found in his home, which was being used as a drug lab. “That was a large lab. It was larger than any of us had seen, and he was able to produce quite a bit of hash oil,” said Madera Police Sgt. Josiah Arnold. “Far more than they usually produce — in fact, far more than most dealers would produce.” At the Madera County Superior Court, the suspect, Robert Holladay, 30, was ordered Tuesday by Madera County Judge Dale J. Blea to return next Tuesday for his violation of probation trial setting. According to Arnold, Holladay was arrested late in the afternoon on Nov. 8, when the police were contacted by a Madera County Probation officer about Holladay, who was wanted, but believed to be dangerous. Officers from the Special Investigations Unit were dispatched to his house on 16956 Crystal Drive, where they made contact with the suspect in the garage. Inside, officers reportedly found 200 lbs. of marijuana, and a hash oil production operation in the house, with thousands of dollars worth of product. Butane honey oil, or hash oil, is a highly concentrated substance made by burning marijuana with butane gas, creating a honey-like resin that is rich in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. This results in a more potent substance that leads to a stronger high by the user. Arnold also stated that the officers found five guns in the house, including an SKS rifle, and an AR-15, along with a flak vest. “There were guns in the garage near the honey oil lab, and then inside of one of the bedrooms, there were two more guns,” Arnold said. “Mr. Holliday is believed to be the owner of all five weapons, and he’s a pretty bad guy that is absolutely prohibited from having guns.” Illegal ownership of guns, Arnold stated, has been a problem for the Special Investigations Unit. Following the arrest, the California Department of Justice was called in for cleanup of the lab, which is prone to explosions due to the amount of butane gas in the air. According to Arnold, Holladay’s roommate was also arrested, but was later released.