Breaking Bad in real life? Two chemistry professors in Arkansas are accused of making meth

18 November 2019, 10:39 | Updated: 18 November 2019, 14:54

Two chemistry professors in the US have been arrested on suspicion of making meth - a story similar to the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

In an apparent case of life imitating art, Terry D Bateman, 45, and Bradley A Rowland, 40, both chemistry professors at Henderson State University in Arkansas, were charged with making the drug methamphetamine.

In Breaking Bad, chemistry teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, takes to manufacturing the drug in order to pay for cancer treatment, which leads to a life of crime.

The pair were taken to jail on Friday, but it wasn't clear if they have since been released.

A statement from the police in Arkansas said: "Bateman and Rowland were the subject of an investigation originating with Henderson State University Chief of Police."

If the professors are found guilty of making the drug, they could spend up to 20 years in prison.

A spokeswoman for Henderson State University said that Bateman and Rowland had been on administrative leave since 11 October - three days after police investigated reports of a chemical smell in the campus' science centre.

She added that there were elevated levels of benzyl chloride in the area - a chemical used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

The building was subsequently closed down and reopened nearly three weeks later, once the air had been filtered.

"The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is a top priority, and we continue to cooperate with authorities," the spokeswoman aid.

Methamphetamine is a class A drug in the UK - the highest classification a narcotic can be given, and is often taken as a "party drug" - enabling users to increase their energy at night when using it, before severely "crashing" in the daytime.