San Francisco police busted a meth lab in a hotel room that was rented out by the city to house frontline workers and a portion of its massive homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.
Law enforcement responded to a 911 call about a “strong chemical odor emanating from a guest room” at the Civic Center Motor Inn on Saturday. When police arrived, they found the ingredients for the drug, along with other paraphernalia, and arrested two people who were staying in the room.
“Officers conducted an investigation and discovered chemicals known to make narcotics, which were isolated to one guest room,” a representative from the department told Fox News. “Two adults were arrested for narcotics-related charges, some of which are possession of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances for sales, manufacturing controlled substances, and conspiracy.”
The hotel is taking part in the city’s Alternative Housing program that was created, in part, to protect vulnerable populations, including people experiencing homelessness, during the pandemic. San Francisco’s program offers hotel rooms to those who have no place to quarantine during the pandemic, such as frontline workers who may live with people susceptible to the virus. Frontline workers and people without homes are managed separately under the program. As of Wednesday, 345 frontline workers and 2,527 people without homes to quarantine in were in the program.
The program, which was also set up in other California cities, has been controversial as business owners raise concerns about crime spreading near the hotels as they fill with homeless people.
“I would like for the government to have a bit more of monitoring of the space,” a man who works near the Civic Center Motor Inn told KTVU. “If you are housing people that are not there with a security deposit or anything, that makes them liable. Liability is key.”
Some hotels in California have refused to participate in the housing program. The Los Angeles City Council voted in May to list publicly hotels that refused to house homeless people after the owners of the Ritz Carlton downtown declined to take in homeless guests.
The city of San Francisco confirmed in May that it had been providing drugs to some of the homeless people who had moved into hotels during the pandemic, though methamphetamine was not on the menu. The city used private funds to give them tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol while they are off the streets in quarantine.
Author: Madison Dibble
Source: Washington Examiner: Police find meth lab in hotel room rented out by San Francisco coronavirus shelter program