One arrested after HazMat crew finds elaborate smoking device

Samuel L. Oliphant (submitted photo)

Samuel L. Oliphant (submitted photo)

On June 30 investigators with the Scottsdale Police Department arrested 35-year-old Samuel J. Oliphant for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and an outstanding arrest warrant at 6895 E. Camelback Road in Scottsdale.

At approximately 11:30 a.m., Scottsdale patrol officers responded to an apartment in the Optima Sonoran Village. Management had reported a very strong and unusual odor coming from one of the apartments, according to Scottsdale police.

The responding officers observed the open front door and confirmed the foul odor. The officers made entry into the unit and immediately observed what appeared to be some type of lab set up.

Due to the makeup of the system and the strong odor, officers backed out of the unit. Scottsdale Fire responded, and out of an abundance of caution, a hazardous materials response was initiated.

The make shift lab was dismantled and impounded for testing and evaluation, police said. Officers also discovered marijuana which was impounded.

Further investigation revealed that the apparent lab was actually a very complex and elaborate system designed and built by Oliphant, the apartment resident, as a device to smoke illegal drugs.

The Scottsdale Police Department commends the management of the Optima Sonoran Village for alerting police.

“They observed something that did not look right and contacted the authorities,” said Officer Kevin Watts in a press release.

Fortunately, all of this activity was contained to a single unit in the complex and no evacuations were required.  There were no injuries and no medical treatment was required for the residents, police said.

The Scottsdale Police Department would like to remind everyone: if you see something, say something.

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