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.