On September 9, 2017, fire department personnel contacted the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office just after 10:30 AM and reported possible drug possession and manufacturing from a home in the 500 block of Karen Drive, Prescott. The resident, 28-year-old Frank Soberanis, called 911 after sustaining chemical burns on his hands and face. Deputies arrived and confirmed Soberanis was involved in the manufacturing and sales of illicit drugs. Due to the nature of the operation, detectives from Partner’s Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) were called to investigate. Pending their arrival, deputies and fire crews checked inside the home to determine any immediate danger from gases or chemicals to first responders and nearby residents. In plain view throughout the home, deputies saw quantities of marijuana, gas masks, black protective gloves, packages of chemicals, propane bottles, pipes with narcotic residue, scales, and butane torches. A strong chemical odor was detected throughout the house.
PANT Detectives arrived and spoke with Soberanis while he was being treated and he declined to discuss allegations he was operating an illicit drug lab. Based on the information gathered so far, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for the premises. An examination of the home’s interior revealed several containers of marijuana along with metal and plastic pipes fashioned together as an extraction device used in the making of Butane Honey Oil (BHO). The BHO process alone is extremely dangerous as it exposes butane gas and the resulting potential of an explosion and fire.
A bathroom countertop contained exposed chemicals along with pH test papers. In the kitchen, detectives found numerous clear packages each labeled with a different chemical. A dropper tube containing a liquid and labeled ‘LSD’ was also found along with a baggie of apparent PCP powder.
Based on the potential danger involved in handling the multitude of chemicals found throughout the house, the Department of Public Safety Hazardous Material Team was requested. The DPS ‘Haz Mat’ team arrived and conducted the seizure and storage of the hazardous chemical evidence on behalf of PANT detectives.
While reviewing documents seized, detectives found a price list for LSD tabs and other drugs, chemistry notes, and a ‘pay and owe’ ledger documenting drug/narcotic sales.
PANT detectives spent hours on site documenting the chemicals and materials used by Soberanis in the illicit operation. Detectives concluded that Soberanis was purchasing, synthesizing, selling and using illicit substances including PCP, LSD, marijuana, and BHO.
Soberanis was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Manufacturing Dangerous Drugs, Possess Chemicals to Manufacture Dangerous Drugs, Possession of Drugs for Sale, Possess/Use Dangerous Drugs, Manufacture a Narcotic Drug, Possess Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Soberanis was since released by the court on a promise to appear.
PANT detectives continue documenting this complex case and gathering additional evidence regarding Soberanis’ drug operation.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov