A child welfare call believed to be a rouse led to the arrest of a Terra Bella man for operating an active honey oil lab.

Richard Moreno, 60, was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, maintaining a residence for narcotic use and manufacturing a lab.

Just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Tulare County Sheriff’s Deputies received an anonymous call to check the welfare of a 7 and 9-year-old at the 24000 Block of Avenue 95 in Terra Bella. The call was later believed to be a rouse, in order to get the Sheriff’s Office to respond. 

When Deputies arrived, Moreno answered the door and told Deputies no kids lived at the home. At that time, Deputies noticed Moreno appeared to be under the influence and evaluated him. 

Deputies didn’t find any children inside the home, but they did find an active honey oil lab throughout several rooms and several gallons of flammable liquids. The TCSO Marijuana Investigation Team and the Department of Justice Lab Team took over the investigation. 

Moreno was eventually arrested.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux wants to remind the public of the real dangers associated with honey oil labs. They can easily explode, threatening serious harm to anyone inside or living near the home, as well as first responders on the scene.

If you have any information about this investigation or any other honey oil labs, you’re encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 733-6218. Anonymous information can be sent by text or email to TCSO@tipnow.com or call (559) 725-4194.

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