Life imitated art in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a Taco Bell manager was arrested for cooking crystal methamphetamines in the restaurant’s utility area after hours, reported the Daily Beast. The case is reminiscent of AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad, where (Spoiler Alert) a chemistry teacher partners with the owner of a fast food chain as a front to manufacture and distribute meth.
Police responded to a tip of suspicious activity on August 4. When police arrived to the fast food joint, they noticed a peeled lithium battery, which is typically used to manufacture meth. A search of the restaurant led to the discovery of other ingredients: lye and drain cleaner. Police also found 1 to 2 grams of meth.
Christopher Matous, 31, was arrested and charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and three counts of possession of meth precursors.
“We never found [a lab] in a restaurant or business like this, said Cedar Rapids Police Department spokesperson Greg Buelow. “It was fairly unusual to have something like that occur.”
After the story broke, a health concern arose within the community as people questioned whether their food was contaminated with meth. The restaurant remains closed as chemical experts conduct a thorough cleaning of the Cedar Rapids Taco Bell. Linn County Health Department environment manager James Hodina noted that any substance production occurred in the restaurant’s utility area.
“It wasn’t going on when people were eating or when food was being prepared,” said Hodina. “All the chemicals were found back in the utility area where they stored other cleaning products.”