Two men were arrested Tuesday when authorities discovered remnants of a methamphetamine lab inside an Iowa Taco Bell, police say. The two men, one of whom was an employee at the fast food chain, face meth-related felony charges.
The store was closed for most of the day on Tuesday.
Fox News and The Gazette report that, at 4:42 on Tuesday morning, police received a suspicious person report. Officers followed up at the Taco Bell at 2621 Blairs Ferry Road NE, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they found two men on the premises. After the Taco Bell manager authorized the officers to enter the store, which was closed at the time, police searched the restaurant and found evidence of a meth lab in a utility area. At this time, it is not known if the men actually cooked the drugs in the store.
According to The Gazette, officers arrested 31-year-old Adam Matous and 56-year-old Kent Jerome Duby on felony charges.
Matous faces charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of sodium hydroxide and petroleum distillates.
Duby faces a charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Authorities in hazardous materials suits examined the materials outside while blocking off public access to the fast food chain.
Taco Bell corporate offices confirmed some details of the incident in a released official statement, according to KTIV. It reads:
We understand that two people, one an employee, entered our franchisee’s restaurant illegally, allegedly possessing suspicious items. Both we and our franchisee find this completely unacceptable. Our franchisee has been cooperating with Cedar Rapids Police to investigate this isolated incident.
Although the suspicious items found in the restaurant were not used in the kitchen, the employee has been terminated and our franchisee is considering pressing criminal charges. The restaurant will reopen after it has been sanitized inspected by the Health Department.
According to signs on the restaurant’s door, they expected to reopen at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.