Hazardous materials unit searches South Berkeley residence Friday morning

Brennan MacLean/Staff

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The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office searched a South Berkeley residence Friday morning for psychedelic narcotics.

According to initial reports from Sgt. JD Nelson, a narcotics team from the sheriff’s department obtained a search warrant to investigate a possible meth lab. There may have only been chemicals to make the narcotic and not the finished product.

Sgt. Steve Lenthe of the special investigations unit said that upon entering the residence, 1615 Oregon St., he and other personnel came across unknown chemicals, closed off the area and evacuated nearby residents.

The city of Berkeley’s toxics management division was called in and determined that the chemicals were not hazardous. Lenthe said the residence did not contain a meth lab and that the substances were safely contained.

A hazardous materials unit of the Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched about 8:10 a.m. to assist in the operation, according to BFD Deputy Chief Avery Webb. About an hour later, the sheriff’s department began releasing units.

Lenthe said three people in the residential unit — two men and one woman — were arrested. The residential unit, Lenthe said, had been on their “radar” for some time. The investigation is ongoing.

Two neighbors, Laura Menard and another who requested anonymity for fear of personal safety, said the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was also on scene.

According to Berkeleyside, which first reported the incident, traffic on the street was partially blocked for several hours.

Staff writer Brennan MacLean contributed to this report.

Kimberly Veklerov is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @KVeklerov.