Common law strife

  • James Rathjen, 30, of Nederland
    James Rathjen, 30, of Nederland

After finding her common law husband incapacitated and intoxicated on some unknown substance, a Nederland woman called officers to check on a man with whom they’re familiar, according to a Feb. 3 indictment.

July 21, 2020, officers responded to the home of James Michael Rathjen, 30, after his common law wife called and advised Rathjen was unconscious. The responding officers looked in the front window of Rathjen’s truck and observed a glass tube containing a crystal-like substance lying on the driver seat of the vehicle. A crime lab report revealed the substance to be methamphetamine.

Officers were able to awaken Rathjen, who refused consent to search his vehicle. He did admit to taking Xanax before falling asleep before officers searched Rathjen’s vehicle due to the suspected methamphetamine located in plain view. Officers located marijuana, rolling papers and a grinder. Rathjen was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.