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October 17, 2013

Police: Drug labs becoming more common

Two arrested after police search Londonderry home for stolen goods

LONDONDERRY — What police and fire officials say is a disturbing trend led to the arrests of a father and son at a Ridgemont Drive home last month.

Internet availability of elaborate plans for manufacturing more potent forms of illegal drugs has led to a nationwide increase in homemade labs, according to Trooper 1st Class Matthew Partington, a member of the New Hampshire State Police bomb squad.

The labs are used to create highly addictive methamphetamines and also butane honey oil from hashish, Partington said.

When police searched the home of Mark and Brandon Castiglione on Sept. 30, they were in for a surprise. They were looking for smoking paraphernalia stolen from a vendor at the Londonderry Flea Market, but uncovered much more.

Investigators found highly explosive materials in 19-year-old Brandon Castiglione’s bedroom, believed to have been used to make honey butane oil. That included cans of flammable Sterno cooking fuel, the chemical butane and propane torches.

The oil is produced in a tube by forcing the liquid butane through marijuana to extract THC, the component that produces a high. The end result is a substance, resembling honey, that has a purer THC content and creates more of a euphoria, Partington said.

“You are getting a much more enhanced effect,” he said.

Brandon Castiglione is being held at the county jail on $100,000 cash bail. He was arrested on three counts of possession of a controlled/narcotic drug and single counts of unlawful manufacture of a controlled drug, possession of a controlled/narcotic drug with intent to distribute, and unlawful possession of alcohol and intoxication.

Mark Castiglione, 54, was released on $10,000 cash bail after being charged with having control of a premises where a controlled drug is kept, Londonderry police Detective Christopher Olson said.

But drug-manufacturing equipment isn’t the only thing the team of 10 Londonderry police officers found. They uncovered $1,500, assault rifles and other semiautomatic weapons, glass pipes, test tubes, plastic bags, glass pans, razor blades along with marijuana, hashish and psychedelic mushrooms, police said.

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