Berkeley police discover 18 pounds of marijuana inside tent

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Rashad Sisemore /File

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Two Berkeley Police Department officers were on patrol at a Berkeley homeless encampment around Gilman Street and the Eastshore Freeway when they discovered 18 pounds of marijuana inside a tent that smelled strongly of the substance.

In addition to the marijuana, police also reportedly recovered a switchblade knife, a replica pistol, 25 cans of butane and what was determined to be a hash oil cultivation system. According to BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel, police arrested 40-year-old Michael Nelson — who was standing in front of the tent at the time — on four charges: possession of narcotics for sale, cultivation of marijuana, illegally manufacturing narcotics and possession of the switchblade knife.

Frankel noted that the butane could be used in the process of making hash oil from the marijuana.

According to the latest information from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Nelson is being held at the Santa Rita Jail with a $75,000 bail.

Check back for updates.

Logan Goldberg is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @logangoldberg.

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  • CalAlum99

    18 pounds of marijuana, $75k bail. Yeah, sounds about right.

  • Overpaid

    How is it the the Berkeley police can be within a stones throw of 35,000 of the smartest people on the planet (my wife being one of them) and still not be able to tell the difference between a narcotic and a pineapple? Marijuana and it’s derivatives are not narcotic. Yet they charge people with it, usually poor and under represented in so many ways, so that they can bargain it a way in the plea process. This is a fundamentally flawed an evil way to serve and protect. If police and DA’s were forced to prosecute rather than deal way all charges, the legal system wouldn’t be such a huge drain on human lives and we might be able to fix a pothole once in a while. Not to mention freeing up the same to solve crime rather than manufacture them. Berkeley should raze that station and start a new.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      It’s not the Berkeley PD’s fault. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I narcotic under federal law.