Two men were arrested on Thursday night after Beatrice Police said they were found in a marijuana smoke-filled vehicle with two children.
Ryan K. Matthews, 29, and Emmanuel X. Beach, 18, were arrested on Feb. 22 on two counts each of child abuse, a class 3a felony, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor. Matthews was also arrested on two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of drug paraphernalia and a child restraint violation.
On Feb. 22 at about 7:30 p.m., Beatrice Police officers were dispatched to the 900 block of Ella Street following a report of a white Chevy pickup blocking a driveway.
The reporting party said that she believed the pickup was occupied and that the occupants were aware that she was trying to leave her driveway, but they refused to move. The woman also told dispatchers it appeared that they were smoking something inside the truck.
Upon arrival at the intersection of N. 10th and Ella streets, Beatrice Police officer Derrick Hosick said he saw a white pickup pulling out of the alleyway, and as the truck pulled alongside the vehicle, Hosick turned on his light to initiate a stop.
As Matthews, the driver, rolled down the pickup's window, a large amount of smoke allegedly billowed out and into Hosick’s face, he said in a report. He identified the smell as burnt marijuana.
Hosick said he saw Beach in the passenger seat, along with a 15-year-old male in the back passenger seat and a two-year-old child in the center backseat with no seatbelt or child car seat.
The officer asked where the marijuana was located and all the vehicle’s occupants said they did not know of any marijuana. Hosick said he spotted a large bud of cannabis on the center console.
Hosick said he removed the toddler from the smoke-filled truck and all passengers were transported to the Beatrice Police Department.
A large sandwich bag containing about three quarters of an ounce of a green, leafy substance was discovered during a search of the vehicle, underneath where the 15-year-old male had been sitting. A pipe was also discovered on the floorboard of the front passenger seat, with a freshly-packed, unsmoked bowl. Matthews said the pipe did not belong to him.
A search of a bag that had been sitting on Matthews’ leg found a matching piece of the pipe, filled with burnt and fresh marijuana. Matthews said that the pipe was his, as was the bud on the center console, but the marijuana in the sandwich bag was not.
Matthews was read his rights. The Department of Health and Human Services allowed police to read the Miranda Warning to Beach, a state ward, and both men were then questioned about the incident.
Matthews declined to discuss the incident, but Beach told officers that he had been in the pickup for about five minutes.
Beach said that he was an active cannabis smoker, but said he hadn’t smoked any inside the pickup. Beach also said he hadn’t seen anyone smoking cannabis in the vehicle.
Beach said that the others in the pickup were not responsible for anything and allegedly told officers that they could take him to jail if they wanted. Beach also said he did not know who the bagged marijuana or the pipe between his feet belonged to and said he did not know the pipe was at his feet.
The two men were taken to the Gage County Detention Center for booking on Thursday night and at a bond hearing on Friday morning, the two men were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to appear in court again in March.