Nothing seemed to go right for the alleged operators of a meth lab in southeast Nebraska Tuesday. Things began to unravel for them when they ran out of gas about 4:30 in the morning northwest of Beatrice.
Gage County Sheriff Millard Gus Gustafson reports that a deputy figured the vehicle needed assistance on West Juniper Road, just west of Southwest 45th. A man in the vehicle told the deputy that he ran out of gas while on their way back from Lincoln and that his friend was walking toward Beatrice to get some fuel.
The man, identified as 35-year-old Shane Morgan of Beatrice, was arrested for driving with a suspended license. Deputies and an officer from Beatrice Police report that they were able to observe in plain view items in the vehicle that were components of a meth lab. They say Morgan described manufacturing meth hours earlier.
Meanwhile, another deputy was able to find his gas-seeking friend about a mile away. Twenty-eight-year-old Nathan Hartung of Beatrice was also placed in custody. The Nebraska State Patrol was called to the scene to help with the meth lab situation. A search of the vehicle revealed small bags of meth.
Morgan was also booked for possessing a controlled substance, possessing that substance with the intent to manufacture, and possessing meth ingredients.
Hartung was arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia, possessing a controlled substance, intending to manufacture a controlled substance, and possession of meth ingredients.