GLOUCESTER — City police, responding to investigate reports of a “deranged man mixing chemicals” in a three-story Chestnut Street house, according to their reports, determined with the help of state and federal agencies tonight that the scene was not a methamphetamine lab, as initially feared.
And a man detained by police for more than two hours, then transported by Fire Department Rescue Squad to Addison Gilbert Hospital for evaluation, is not facing any criminal charges, according to police, following in an incident that closed the downtown side street for much of Thursday afternoon.
The 54-year-old man, who lives on the third floor of 11 Chestnut St., told a Times reporter at the scene that he was in his room “mixing household chemicals” from a hardware store, in order to “pull natural minerals out of sea salt.”
Police on scene said that liquid Drano, uric acid and other chemicals were found, some mixed together, in the man’s room after he was detained about 2:30 p.m. Gloucester police then called in outside agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency and State Police to investigate the scene, while the man sat in the back of a police cruiser.
“There were some chemicals there that are used to make (meth); that’s why we were concerned and called in outside agencies,” Police Sgt. Michael Gossom said Thursday night. “They were able to confirm that it wasn’t meth; he was mixing readily available chemicals to try to break down salt to it’s basic compound.”
Gossam said DEA officials confirmed that the chemicals had not been mixed in a manner attempting at creating meth or other drugs.
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