Stupid federal cop. (1 Viewer)


I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Dec 4, 2014
en route
This kind of hijinks is why I say never to underestimate the stupidity of federal activities.

Meth case at U.S. agency’s lab more bumbling than ‘Breaking Bad’

When it surfaced last month, the story of illegal meth production at a sprawling research complex in Maryland generated plenty of jokes and comparisons to the TV series “Breaking Bad.” And why not?

The facility — the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — is home to brilliant research in such areas as atomic physics. The main character in “Breaking Bad,” Walter White, is a brilliant chemist who at his peak makes meth in a pristine, elaborate laboratory.

As it turns out — and as was made clear in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., on Friday — the meth episode at NIST was a relatively simple yet dangerous affair, similar to operations carried out in kitchens and backwoods across the country. The man behind it, Christopher Bartley, 41, pleaded guilty to trying to make less than 5 grams of meth under what is sometimes called the “shake and bake” method, which generally involves cold medicine, chemicals and plastic soda bottles.

“This was not a big operation,” said Bartley’s attorney, Steven VanGrack.

But his client faces a potentially big price — possibly more than five years in prison — when he is sentenced later this year.

According to facts in the case, as laid out in court, Bartley, who had been a lieutenant with NIST’s internal police force, was on duty the night of July 18 when he slipped into a building on the edge of NIST’s 578-acre campus. He tried to make meth. It exploded, blowing out four windows at the lab — one traveled 22 feet; another, 33 feet.

The temperature in the room spiked to 180 degrees, setting off a silent heat alarm. Firefighters and additional police officers responded. They found Bartley with burns on his arm as well as singed eyebrows and hair.

They searched a nearby dumpster and trash area, finding items consistent with meth-making: a coffee grinder with white residue, Drano crystals, a plastic soda bottle, a gas mask and rubber tubing, according to the case’s statement of facts, which had been agreed to by prosecutors and Bartley.

In Bartley’s car, authorities found notes listing the ingredients and equipment needed to make meth, which is short for methamphetamine, a highly addictive street drug.

He initially said he had been trying to fill a butane lighter, according to sources with knowledge of the case.

He resigned from his job the next day, according to NIST officials, and was charged earlier this week with trying to make meth. His plea on Friday sets the stage for his sentencing, to take place in November.

VanGrack has said his client was not cooking meth to use or sell. Rather, he was trying to understand the drug better so he could teach training exercises to other NIST police officers, according to the attorney.

After the hearing, VanGrack said his client’s setup was “the complete opposite extreme” of the large lab portrayed in “Breaking Bad.”

“What we have is a minimal amount of substance and an operation that went wrong,” VanGrack said. “He didn’t know what he was doing.”

Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, said there was no evidence that Bartley intended to sell the meth or that his actions were part of a broader conspiracy.

But Rosenstein also said: “There was no evidence at all that this was an experiment or research of any kind. Mr. Bartley’s job was to be a police officer at NIST — to protect people and property on the facility. It wasn’t his job to do research. It was not his job to be in the lab at all.”

Rosenstein noted that Bartley was supposed to be protecting NIST. “It’s extremely disappointing this was an officer,” he said.

The term “shake and bake” refers to meth-production methods using a single plastic soda bottle or two such bottles, connected by tubing, that contain the ingredients to make the drug, said Joseph Moses, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

People often use a coffee grinder to grind cold-medicine tablets containing pseudoephedrine. That is added to the bottles, along with ammonium nitrate, lye and often pieces of lithium taken out of batteries, according to Moses and to Caoimhín Connell, a meth-production expert at Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies in Colorado.

The meth-makers then put a cap on the bottle and shake it, creating a reaction that produces an explosive gas that must be periodically vented by unscrewing the cap, a process known as “burping,” Connell said. The shake-and-bake users then screw the cap back on and shake it some more.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” said Connell. “You can blow up a house with one bottle, no problem.”

The method is popular because it’s cheap, it doesn’t require an external heat source and equipment can be moved around in the trunk of a car, Moses said.

That Bartley’s operation fell far short of the elaborate setup seen by fans of “Breaking Bad” is typical of meth labs. They often are small, crude and dangerous, according to Connell and Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor and former senior policy adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Humphreys questioned Bartley’s defense that he was cooking meth on his own to learn more about it. “All you have to do is go on YouTube to see how to do it. It’s no big secret,” Humphreys said.

Although experts say there are meth “super labs,” generally in Mexico and California, there are many more smaller operations. The super labs produce most of the meth, by volume, that is used in the United States, according to Humphreys.

Most meth labs are in houses and warehouses or in the woods — not in high-tech federal science labs.

“I’d have to say, as far as I know, this is a first,” Humphreys said.
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Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Jul 28, 2011
Rochester, NY
joissssusss that is assinine! But I did love Breaking Bad hehe.

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