Zachary man booked on meth lab counts

Police arrested a man accused of operating two crystal meth labs that led police last week to briefly evacuate seven houses near the suspect’s home, Police Chief David McDavid said Thursday.

Officers found Steven Behrens, 37, at his jobsite Wednesday afternoon after obtaining a warrant for his arrest, McDavid said.

Behrens, of 2651 Church St., Zachary, was booked at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on two counts of operating a clandestine methamphetamines lab, 15 counts of possession of a firearm while in the possession of illegal drugs, possession of Schedule II drugs, manufacture of Schedule II drugs and child endangerment.

McDavid said a child was living in the home where the meth was being manufactured.

One of the 15 weapons found in the home was a firearm equipped with a homemade silencer, he said.

Zachary police and officers with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force found the labs April 25 while looking for a burglary suspect wanted in another parish, McDavid said.

Officers evacuated the seven homes at the intersection of Church and July streets until the Baton Rouge Fire Department’s HazMat Unit determined that the materials in the residence no longer posed an explosion risk. A company specializing in cleaning up meth labs also was called to remove the materials, McDavid said.