UC Merced student arrested for making hash oil worth $10K

MERCED, Calif.

Authorities say /*Jacob Lipsett*/, 19, had an illegal lab at the house to extract hash oil from marijuana.

Lipsett is a biological science major at UC Merced. He lives less than two miles away down the road in a residential area, and that's where authorities say he was making a drug that's stronger than marijuana.

The large home near the UC Merced campus is where investigators say freshman Jacob Lipsett made at least ten thousand dollars' worth of drugs. Six other students also rent rooms in the house, but insist they had no idea what Lipsett was doing because he mostly kept to himself.

Daniel Bucknell, suspect's roommate said, "We had nothing to do that, that was just a freak of nature incident."

Bucknell says he was shocked when authorities showed up to search his house on Tuesday, only a week after he moved in.

Bucknell said, "The police came, they took a lot of things, and they wouldn't answer our questions or anything."

Deputies first went to the home after getting a tip on Halloween. That investigation led narcotics task force agents to serve a search warrant there the next day.

Deputy Tom Mackenzie said, "They discovered a hash oil conversion lab, one and a half quarts of finished product, or hash oil, and then also took our suspect into custody."

Deputy Tom Mackenzie says the process the biological science major was using is rare, but not very difficult. It results in a dark colored liquid and has a high percentage of the active chemical, THC.

Deputy Tom Mackenzie said, "Once you extract the THC you can dip anything you want into it, cigarettes, food, anything like that, which enhances the potency."

Investigators do not believe any of the other students living at the home were involved in the drug making. Bucknell says the only mistake they made, was not knowing their roommate better.

Bucknell said, "Sometimes when we give people too much trust incidents like this happen."

Jacob Lipsett is now being held on a half million dollar bail for drug manufacturing charges.

A spokesperson at the university confirmed he is a freshman biological science major, but did not have additional comments.

Lipsett is now the second UC Merced student arrested on drug manufacturing charges.

Former graduate student /*Jason West*/ was arrested back in 2008 and sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

The 37-year-old chemistry student stole chemicals from the university to make methamphetamine.

Authorities called his product "super meth" because he made it without pseudoephedrine, which made it harder to trace.

West eventually pleaded no contest to conspiracy to manufacture meth and embezzlement.

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