A chronic drunken driver and former hash-lab boss has been sentenced to three years and eight months behind bars.

Judge Dale Reinholtsen imposed the sentence this morning on William Edwards Woods, who was in charge of a butane-fueled hash lab in a Manila Myrtletown neighborhood when the lab caught fire and exploded on Jan. 25 of this year. One person was injured. Two other men, one of them Woods’ younger brother, were not hurt.

At the lab site, officers found 410 pounds of marijuana and 10 pounds of concentrated marijuana.


Woods, 32, also had three pending cases for driving under the influence and two prior convictions for DUI. And a few months after the lab explosion he was arrested during a Southern Humboldt raid in which authorities eradicated more than 11,000 marijuana plants and destroyed more than 1,100 pounds of processed weed.

He will serve his term in Humboldt County Correctional Facility, and after being released will spend an additional four years on mandatory supervision.

Defense attorney Michael Acosta argued for probation, noting Woods was just one of four people present when the lab exploded. Two of those people received misdemeanor convictions and a third was sentenced to time served, he said. As for the person injured, he was taken to the hospital but “wasn’t even there overnight.”

The injured man “was not an innocent bystander,” Acosta said.

But Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, prosecuting the case, said Woods was in charge of the lab and responsible for the large amount of butane stored there.

“This could have been an explosion that took out numerous houses,” Kamada said.
Reinholtsen, in ruling out probation, noted the hash lab was being operated in a residential neighborhood and large quantities of marijuana and processed marijuana were found. Then on Aug. 3, Woods was arrested for marijuana cultivation and evidence indicated he was selling the pot.

“He has a history of criminality and his crimes have gotten more serious,” the judge said.
Woods must pay $1,500 toward the injured man’s medical bills, and he was ordered not to “harass or annoy” that person.

He was given credit for 293 days already served.


CORRECTION: This story, as originally published, misidentified the location of Willams’ hash lab. It was in Myrtletown, not Manila. The story has been corrected.

The Outpost regrets the error.