Life Imitates Art: ‘Breaking Bad’ Edition

January 9, 2014

Breaking Bad ended its critically-acclaimed run in September, but it keeps
making the news…in some very unlikely ways.

Walter_White2In September, Breaking Bad costar Aaron Paul (he portrayed Jesse Pinkman) held an online raffle to raise money for his wife’s anti-bullying charity The Kind Campaign. The prize: the chance to watch the highly anticipated series finale of Breaking Bad with Paul and cast member Bryan Cranston (Walter White) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The lucky winner: 28-year-old Breaking Bad superfan Ryan Carroll of Fort Myers, Florida, who was informed personally by Paul. Carroll and his friend flew to Los Angeles, and were picked up at the airport by Paul in an RV just like the one used by drug kingpin Walter White on the show. End of the story? Nope. Carroll was apparently a bigger Breaking Bad enthusiast than anyone imagined. On New Year’s Eve, Fort Myers police raided three homes they believed were linked to a massive synthetic marijuana distribution ring. One of those homes belonged to Carroll—he was in possession of over $1 million worth of drugs, and is believed to be the operation’s “kingpin.”

After a week-long surveillance of his residence in Lake Nona, Florida, federal narcotics agents stopped Jose Cavillo in his truck. In the vehicle they found 32 pounds of methenphetamine. In his home they found about $1 million worth of meth, packaged into 140,000 doses. Like Breaking Bad‘s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Cavillo and his also-arrested associate Jose Martinez-Romero, were suburban meth kingpins. There’s one more Bad connection: police found a Walter White doll in Cavillo’s truck.

Actor Bryan Cranston is 56 years old, and he grew a goatee to play the role of Walter White, a meth kingpin in the vast western state of New Mexico. In 2013, a judge in Montana sentenced a 53-year-old goateed man to nine years in prison (and three on a gun charge) for dealing meth in that vast western state. That criminal’s name? Walter White.