Move Over Walter White—’Breaking Bad’ Chinese Chemistry Professor Cooks Meth

May 19, 2015 Updated: May 19, 2015

Reality in China has caught up with American drama. Chinese police recently took out a former chemistry professor who cooked synthetic drugs for a gang, echoing the plotline of a hit television show in the United States.

Lu, a 50-year-old professor of chemistry at a university in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, northern China, provided drug dealers with “recipes for producing methcathinone,” an addictive substance similar to methamphetamine, the state-run China Business News reported on Tuesday.

The drug manufacturer, a man named Chen, and six others were arrested by police last May after they were found with 128 kg (about 282 pounds) of methcathinone and 2,000 kg (about 4,409 pounds) of ingredients at a manufacturing facility in Shaanxi.

Through Chen, police learned of Lu’s involvement in the drug ring, and eventually tracked and detained Lu at a large residential building in the southern suburbs of Xi’an, the state-run Sanqin City newspaper reported.

Lu’s activities parallel that of fictional former chemistry professor turned crystal meth manufacturer Walter White from “Breaking Bad,” a popular, multiple award-winning American drama.

China has a drug problem. The Chinese regime noted that China has 14 million drug users and the numbers have gone up by an annual average of 36 percent in recent years, Chinese state media reported last week. Rural dwellers are also increasingly using synthetic drugs.

Last year, a village in Guangdong Province, southern China, was found to be producing tons of methamphetamine. A fifth of the 1,700 families living in the village were involved in the drug manufacture, women and children included. Local officials even paid the police to act as enforcers for the drug gangs.

China is also known for contributing to the world’s drug problem. Since 2007, China ships chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine to Mexican cartels, who then cook the drug locally and ship it to the United States. This year, the Chinese regime mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency reported that a small district in Guangdong Province, southern China, is producing methamphetamine for sale globally.