Would you like meth with that? Because if you would, this Wendy’s was the place to go.
Beyond the usual Frosties, fries and hamburgers, the illegal and highly-addictive drug was an off-the-menu option for customers at a Wendy’s restaurant in Canton, Georgia, according to Cherokee County authorities — until this week, that is.
Local drug investigators raided the fast food joint Thursday at 2 p.m. on a search warrant, and then arrested four workers, authorities announced Friday. The cook, manager and two other workers are accused of selling small amounts of methamphetamine inside the restaurant and in the parking lot.
“Innocent customers were at the restaurant when (agents) were observing drug deals in the parking lot area and inside the facility,” Phil Price, commander of the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, said in a statement. “In this case it was not the quantities of drugs, but the risk to the public, that concerned us.”
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The “lengthy” investigation into the drug sales revealed that the workers had been doling out drugs at the restaurant for weeks, the sheriff’s office said.
The restaurant was closed for the raid, but was back open for business later that afternoon, according to authorities.
It wasn’t easy to re-open, though: Nearly half the restaurant's workers had been taken into custody, authorities said.
The investigation began after another person was arrested and tipped authorities off to what was going on at the Wendy’s, the Journal Constitution reports.
Investigators caught the Wendy’s dealers by going undercover to buy the drugs, according to investigators.
“I can tell you we never bought any food there,” Price said on Friday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But four workers weren’t selling to just anyone, authorities said.
“A stranger couldn’t drive up in the drive-thru and get meth and a hamburger or a Frosty,” Price told the newspaper. “But certainly if they were familiar with you, you could have bought your food at the same time.”
The four workers arrested were 26-year-old Jeffery Justus, 27-year-old Zachary Donley, 32-year-old Kristal Hogan, and 36-year-old Amanda McCartney, authorities said.
“The lead person was the manager,” Price told the Journal Constitution. “There was nobody for them to talk to and they needed a job. That is frustrating because those people were trying to make a living ... it's always a good thing when we can help people who feel helpless.”
Wendy’s told FOX 5 on Friday that all of the employees involved had been fired.
“The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority,” Glenn Varner, vice president of operations for Hoover Foods, which manages the restaurant, said in a statement. “We do not condone any sort of illegal activity in our restaurants, and we will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement on their investigation.”
Donley and Hogan each face four counts for sale of methamphetamine, Patch reports. Hogan, McCartney and Justus all face one count for possession.
Price told the Journal Constitution that it didn't appear the accused workers mixed any of the drug money with money from legitimate food sales.
Canton, the town where the arrests were made, is north of Atlanta.