Little Rock, AR – In a crime many are likening to the hit television series “Breaking Bad,” two Henderson State University chemistry professors were arrested for making methamphetamine in a lab on campus.
The investigation into two associate professors of chemistry, 45-year-old Terry Bateman and 40-year-old Bradley Rowland, began on Oct. 8 after an “undetermined chemical odor” was reported in the Reynolds Science Center on campus, according to KATV.
Tests revealed that there was an “elevated presence of benzyl chloride,” a chemical used to help make methamphetamine, present in a laboratory in the science building.
Walter White, the main character in the television series “Breaking Bad” was a high school chemistry teacher who started manufacturing meth to earn extra money, although he didn’t actually make the drugs on campus.
Henderson State University Spokeswoman Tina Hall said that both Bateman and Rowland were placed on administrative leave by the university on Oct. 11, The Washington Post reported.
Henderson State University’s environmental service company used scrubber systems to filter air and remove some of the windows from the building to aid in the ventilation, according to KATV.
The building was reopened Oct. 29 after third-party testing deemed that it was safe and met requirements for occupancy, The Washington Post reported.
“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority, and we continue to cooperate with authorities,” Hall said.
Bateman, the director of undergraduate research at Henderson State University, had been teaching at the school for 10 years, The Washington Post reported.
Rowland joined the university in 2014.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said that Bateman and Rowland were both arrested on Friday afternoon and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and using drug paraphernalia, according to KATV.
The charge of manufacturing methamphetamine is a felony that carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, The Washington Post reported.
The drug paraphernalia charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Although the investigation initially started with the university’s police department, the matter has been turned over to the Clark County Prosecutor, The Washington Post reported.