A maintenance employee of the Marriott Hotel on Storke Road was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly operating a clandestine drug lab in the hotel’s boiler room.
According to Sheriff’s officials, other employees discovered suspicious chemicals in the boiler room and called 911. Narcotics detectives found evidence of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) manufacturing and contacted the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. IMPACT) for help dismantling the lab. The team, wearing hazmat suits and respirators, spent the rest of the day and evening processing the scene in the hotel’s parking lot. Hotel guests were moved to a different area of the building as a precaution
The maintenance employee was identified as 37-year-old Aaron Gorzeman of Oxnard, who was already booked in Santa Barbara County Jail, having been arrested three days earlier in the hotel’s parking lot on outstanding warrants. He was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Authorities were unaware of the lab at the time. Gorzeman has been re-booked for additional charges of drug manufacturing and is being held on $100,000 bail.
DMT, a Schedule 1 drug, is a powerful hallucinogen. “The manufacturing process requires the extraction of chemicals from root bark through the use of highly toxic and flammable chemicals over an open flame,” said Sheriff’s officials. “If you suspect this type of illegal activity is occurring, call law enforcement right away.”