The report of a suspicious person lingering outside of an Iowa Taco Bell restaurant, led a surprising drug bust this week in Cedar Rapids. NBC News reported that the Taco Bell location was closed after police found evidence of a meth lab being run out of a utility area.
Police were called to the scene after someone reported seeing someone lurking outside the building in the early hours of the morning.
Police who searched the premises discovered lye, fuel, and drain cleaner, according to reports.
Two men were arrested and charged—at least one of them was an employee of the franchise. 31-year-old Christopher Adam Matous was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, as well as drug possession charges, and 56-year-old Kent Jerome Duby was charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth.
Matous allegedly told authorities that he was making meth for personal use so he could stay “high all the time.”
Taco Bell said the employee was fired, and that the franchisee was fully cooperating with the ongoing police investigation.
The restaurant location has been closed, and will only reopen after it has been cleaned and inspected by the Health Department. Taco Bell said that none of the items uncovered during the police investigation indicated that they had been used in the kitchen.
The chain has apparently hired a company that specializes in the cleanup of hazardous waste. A toxicologist from the Health Department told Eater that the biggest health risk of a meth lab is to the manufacturers, not to the general public.