Breaking Bad: Chemistry Professors Accused Of Manufacturing 'ampheta' In The US

Washington, United States

Arkansas state authorities in the southern United States arrested two chemistry professors accused of producing methamphetamine, as did Walter White's character in the popular "Breaking Bad" series.

Bradley Rowland, 40, and Terry Bateman, 45, were taken into custody last Friday after an investigation initiated by the university police, the Clark County sheriff's office said in a brief statement.

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An "undetermined chemical odor" had motivated on October 8 the closure of a building at Henderson State University, in the small town of Arkadelphia, Tina Hall, the communications center of the study center, told AFP.

"The first analysis showed, in a laboratory, high levels of benzyl chloride," a substance that can be used to make methamphetamine, Hall added.

The building remained closed until October 29 while cleaning and conditioning work was done, explained the official, who said the investigation is still ongoing.

As a preventive measure, Bateman and Rowland, aggregate professors of chemistry, were separated from their positions. According to local media, Bateman had been in the university for ten years and Rowland, five.

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The case has some notable similarities with the "Breaking Bad" series, which in five seasons tells the story of a chemistry professor who starts an unusual criminal career manufacturing "amphetas" with an alumnus of his, with the intention of providing his family of financial resources after being diagnosed with cancer.

In a Rowland profile published in the university student newspaper, the teacher declared himself a fan of the series. "It is very adjusted from the scientific point of view and allowed a new generation, very young, to be interested in chemistry."

"It is formidable publicity (for discipline)," the teacher quoted in the article, ironically titled "The Henderson Heisenberg."

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