The couple – 40-year-old Ryan Bensen and 37-year-old Erica Manley — had dinner and drinks Thursday at the Twisted Fish Steakhouse in Seaside, police said, and used a gift card to pay for a portion of their meal.
Then they slipped their server an envelope with a question mark scrawled on it, police said, and inside the waitress found crystal meth.
“She was like ‘Whoa — what the?’” said restaurant manager Steve Keszler. “We’re not a little dive bar or hole in the wall. We’re a classy place.”
The waitress walked away from the table and called police, the manager said.
Bensen and Manley were still at the steakhouse when police arrived, and officer said they found more than 17 ounces of meth inside Manley’s purse.
“While I should be shocked and surprised, it’s just another example of how dumb these users and dealers are,” said Seaside Police Chief Robert Gross. “The whole thing almost made me chuckle.”
Police later executed a search warrant at a nearby Holiday Inn Express, where the couple had been staying, and found evidence that they’d been operating a meth lab there.
Benson, of Beaverton, was charged with possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine, and Manley, of Cascade Locks, was charged with possessing, delivering and manufacturing meth.
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