News

‘Breaking Bad’ superfan arrested on drug charges

‘Breaking Bad’ superfan arrested on drug charges

LIFE IMITATING ART: Ryan Lee Carroll was arrested in Florida. Along with drugs, police said they confiscated a signed Hazmat suit, similar to the one worn by Aaron Paul (left) and Bryan Cranston on the hit show "Breaking Bad." Photo: Associated Press

MIAMI (Reuters) – A Florida man who won a contest to watch the finale of the drug-themed TV show “Breaking Bad” with its cast has been arrested on charges he ran an underground synthetic marijuana distribution operation, police said on Thursday.

In a possible case of life imitating art, Ryan Lee Carroll, 28, was arrested on New Year’s Eve and charged with manufacturing and shipping a synthetic marijuana known as “Spice” to distribution points across the country from his home in Fort Myers, in southwest Florida.

Two other suspects were arrested and their homes served as additional manufacturing and storage facilities for the illicit drug operation, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“Ironically, Ryan Lee Carroll was a contest winner for the hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad'; a show about a chemistry teacher turned drug dealer,” the statement said.

It said more than 700 pounds – 79,000 individually packaged packets of synthetic marijuana – were seized with an estimated street value of $1.25 million.

“The investigation has put a large dent in the availability of ‘Spice’ nationally,” the sheriff’s office said.

In addition to the synthetic marijuana and by-products of the substance seized at Carroll’s home, deputies said they had confiscated a souvenir Hazmat suit signed by “Breaking Bad” cast members.

A lawyer for Carroll could not immediately be reached for comment.

The suit was similar to the one worn by Walter White, the fictitious former high school teacher in the TV show who amasses a fortune by manufacturing a potent variety of meth or methamphetamine.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Grant McCool)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Republicans Expect to Hang On to 18th Seat in Illinois

Il 18th District

Only candidate to announce a run for Aaron Schock's seat so far is Darin LaHood.

in Local

Rauner Stands By Right-To-Work Idea for Illinois

rauner

Governor Rauner stands by right-to-work zones in Illinois in spite of opinion issued by Lisa Madigan's office.

in Local

Catholic Bishops Call for Bell Ringing to Mark End of Civil War

church bell

Archdiocese of Chicago officials say the plan arose out of the denomination's annual meeting.

in Local

Eastern Ill. Lincoln Site to Commemorate 150th Death Anniversary

lincoln

The presentations are scheduled for the weekend of April 10 to 12.

in Local

Illinois Observes Earth Hour This Evening

Earth Hour

Lights out from 8:30 to 9:30 this evening.