Hamilton teen seriously burned in suspected drug-making operation


HAMILTON, Mont. - A 17-year-old Hamilton boy suffered serious burns in an explosion at a house in Hamilton early Tuesday morning. The teen has not been identified at this time.

Police suspect the explosion occurred in a drug manufacturing operation.

Hamilton Police Chief Ryan Oster said another man was also burned.

Prosecutors arraigned 25-year-old Howard Matthew Wease III at the hospital late Wednesday afternoon. Wease faces three felony charges.

Oster said it happened on the 400-block of Madison Street on Hamilton's south side.

He said it's believed the suspects were using butane to make hash oil. Hash oil is a derivative of marijuana.

Oster said two adults brought the injured boy to the emergency room at Marcus Daly Hospital, summoned paramedics, and left.

"There's apparently a trend in the country involving this process," said Oster, "using butane, and folks being injured in explosions and fires as a result of the process."

Police obtained a search warrant for the house. Investigators said they found evidence indicating that hash oil was being made there.

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