Monday, February 10, 2020

Arkansas chemistry professors arrested and charged for methamphetamine manufacture

Via Bethany Halford at C&EN, this unusual story of academic chemical manufacturing (emphasis mine):  
Terry David Bateman and Bradley Allen Rowland, the two former Henderson State University chemistry professors who were arrested in November for allegedly making methamphetamine, pleaded not guilty to all charges on Feb. 4. The chemists are formally charged with making methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia for making methamphetamine, possession of the methamphetamine precursor phenylpropanolamine, and manufacture of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone (the university). 
According to an affidavit filed by Sheriff Jason Watson, in Dec. 2018 HSU faculty reported that Bateman and Rowland were behaving in a suspicious manner that led the faculty to believe the two were involved in illegal activity in one of the chemistry laboratories. The HSU staff told a university lawyer that Bateman and Rowland had “exhibited drastic changes in their personal hygiene and weight loss.” Both professors were seen in the laboratory late at night and early in the morning and “were extremely guarded towards other faculty and students who came into the laboratory.” 
...The next month police officers visited one of the school’s laboratories and discovered an overwhelming odor they recognized as phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), a precursor used in the synthesis of amphetamine and methamphetamine... 
...In November, officers executed a search-and-seizure warrant on Bateman and Rowland’s offices at HSU. The officers forced open a locked metal safe in Bateman’s office. It smelled strongly of P2P and contained 190 glass vials with visible chemical residue. Preliminary field tests of two vials and a flask from another HSU laboratory indicated the presence of methamphetamine, according to the affidavit.
I'd sure like to understand what these professors were thinking... (What does phenyl-2-propanone smell like?)


  1. P2P smells like jail.

  2. The implication that they were also using the methamphetamine would go a long way to explain their poor judgement.


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