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Breaking Badly: Two Chemistry Professors Busted for Cooking Meth in School Lab
news  |  Nov 20, 2019

Breaking Badly: Two Chemistry Professors Busted for Cooking Meth in School Lab

As the saying goes, life often imitates art…

As the saying goes, life often imitates art…

Perhaps it was an experiment gone wrong. Or, perhaps they were inspired by the recent release of the Breaking Bad movie, El Camino. But two chemistry professors in Arkansas were arrested on Friday for manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing drug contraband on school property.

The professors, Terry Bateman, 45, and Bradley Rowland, 40, taught at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Law enforcement charged them after discovering traces of methamphetamine at the school’s chemistry laboratory.

An investigation against the two professors started last month, when students and faculty at the university complained about an odd, irritating smell coming from the school’s science center on October 8th. Both professors were placed on administrative leave three days later, and the building was reopened on October 29th after the smell finally cleared out.

"Initial testing indicated an elevated presence of benzyl chloride in a laboratory," Tina Hall, a spokesperson for Henderson State University, told USA Today. Benzyl chloride, an incredibly toxic and volatile chemical, is often used to produce meth, which has experienced a recent revival in the US, partially in response to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Additional details surrounding the two professors’ arrests have not been released, including whether either man had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

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Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay

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