Authorities discovered a suspected methamphetamine lab in a homeless camp under a viaduct north of 47th Street and Valmont Road, according to Boulder County sheriff’s Cmdr. Tommy Sloan.

Boulder police officers responding to a complaint from a neighbor discovered the homeless camp Tuesday evening on a ledge under the bridge that carries Foothills Parkway over a railroad. They also found chemicals at the site that are commonly used to make meth, Sloan said.

Though they said there was no danger to the public, Boulder police and firefighters and the Boulder County Drug Task Force set up their staging area upwind of the camp, on the southeast side of the overpass.

Members of the Boulder County Haz-Mat Team from the Boulder Fire Department and Boulder Rural climbed up the concrete bank Wednesday afternoon and removed items in a large blue bin.

After spending four hours removing materials from the camp, Sloan said it appeared that whoever was living there had not yet made a batch of meth.

“They had the precursor chemicals, but it does not look like it was cooked,” he said.

Sloan said it appears there were two people living in the camp. At least one mattress could be seen on the ledge from 47th Street. Workers on a construction site across the street said they had seen people in the camp, including their legs dangling down from the ledge, for several weeks, but they weren’t aware of any drug activity there.

Sloan said authorities would like to find the people who were living there and talk to them. But it’s not clear yet whether the collection of precursor chemicals will be enough to press charges. Sloan said his team will meet with the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether to pursue charges.

The bike path under the bridge was closed while crews worked on the scene, but no roads were closed in the area.

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_17734681