Former University of Minnesota student, researcher ran meth lab in storage locker, charges say

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 3:15 PM

A former University of Minnesota student who worked as a researcher was charged Tuesday with allegedly running a meth lab in a St. Paul storage facility.

Matthew L. Krause, 30, of St. Paul, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of first-degree manufacture of methamphetamine.

Authorities found “several” master keys to buildings at the University of Minnesota in Krause’s car, and Krause’s friend told police that Krause had cooked meth in a campus lab and stolen property from the school, including chemicals, the charges said. Krause has not been charged for those alleged crimes at the school.

Krause’s alleged storage locker lab was busted on May 9.

“The door suddenly opened and Matthew Lee Krause emerged and appeared very surprised to see police,” the complaint said. “Officers saw a full methamphetamine lab in plain view, and they saw a female apparently passed out in a chair.”

The University of Minnesota’s website lists Krause as an “Undergrad Research Asst. II — Plant Biology.”

University spokesman Chuck Tombarge said Wednesday that Krause was enrolled in the College of Biological Sciences from the fall of 2010 to the spring of 2013 and never earned a degree there. Tombarge said Krause’s employment as a research assistant ended on June 16, 2013.

A search of university police records showed that Krause apparently never had contact with the department, Tombarge said Tuesday, adding that they will investigate allegations in the Ramsey County complaint. “At this point, it’s too early to tell if any of the information in the complaint [related to the campus] is accurate,” Tombarge said.

According to the complaint:

Krause’s friend called police because he was trying to recover tools Krause allegedly stole from him, and was afraid of a confrontation.

The friend told a police dispatcher that he saw Krause with a rifle or shotgun. Police arrived at the storage facility in the 1400 block of Hunting Valley Road. The friend told police that Krause lived in some storage lockers, broke into others to take and sell items, and was currently cooking meth in a locker, the complaint said.

As police heard movement inside locker 4019, Krause opened the locker door. Krause and the woman were checked by medics, then arrested.

Police found several chemicals, filters and glassware, the complaint said. They also found two beakers of liquid that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. A box of pseudoephedrine, a stimulant used in manufacturing meth, and the university master keys were found in Krause’s car, according to the complaint.

Krause’s friend told police that he believed Krause also ordered chemicals online from Russia to avoid detection.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib+

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