US chemistry professors accused of making meth in university lab

Guardian staff

Two chemistry professors in Arkansas are accused of making methamphetamine in a lab at their school.

According to a statement from the Clark county sheriff, Jason Watson, Terry David Bateman and Bradley Allen Rowland, of Henderson State University, were arrested and charged with manufacturing meth and use of drug paraphernalia.

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The case gained international attention thanks to its echoes of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, in which Bryan Cranston played Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who made and sold meth on the side.

A spokeswoman for the college in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, said in a statement the two professors had been on administrative leave since 11 October, shortly after an undetermined chemical odour was detected at a university science centre.

The centre was closed for three weeks, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported. It reopened after a test confirmed it met Environmental Protection Agency standards regarding air quality.

The college spokeswoman said an investigation was ongoing.

The charges facing the professors carry sentences of up to 40 years, for making meth, and up to 20 years for use of drug paraphernalia.