Authorities found a big illicit medical lab near Fresno that was home to bioengineered mice, pathogenic agents, and a wide range of hazardous materials.
KRON4 reports that the investigation was started in March after a curious code enforcement officer in Reedley City noticed a simple garden hose incorrectly tied to the building’s back.
He thought the warehouse was a place for storage, but it was a secret lab.
It is allegedly owned by a company going under the name of “Prestige Biotech.”
County public health officials also found medical equipment at the time that was purportedly created on-site for use in pregnancy testing and COVID, according to NBC.
Joe Prado, the health department’s associate director, reportedly said in a statement on Thursday that the Fresno County Public Health Department has been “evaluating and assessing the activities of an unlicensed laboratory.”
The municipal manager, Nicole Zieba, expressed her surprise and remarked, “This is a unique situation. I’ve spent 25 years working in politics.
800 Compounds and Unidentifiable Substances were found in Facility
KRON4 quotes a witness as saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The facility reportedly had more than 800 different compounds on hand, along with unidentifiable substances marked as “unknown chemicals.
“There were also about 1,000 laboratory mice, 200 of which were already dead, and numerous containers, some of which contained biohazardous materials, including human blood.
Surprisingly, when the samples were analyzed, the Centers for Disease Control discovered at least 20 potentially contagious viral, bacterial, and parasitic organisms.
According to KRON4 and NBC, these included HIV, hepatitis, and herpes; E. coli, malaria, and COVID; and COVID, hepatitis, and COVID.
Although it is believed that the city worked with state and federal officials to remove the hazardous materials from the site, a criminal investigation is still going on.
The nature and purpose of the operation are still unknown.