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‘Breaking Bad’ Contest Winner Busted for Drugs

By Shawn Dwyer 01/03/14

Ryan Carroll won a trip to Hollywood to watch the series finale with cast and crew, but turned out to be more like Walter White than expected.

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Wannabe Walter White Photo via

On New Year’s Eve, Ryan Carroll and two other men were arrested as part of a sting operation that disrupted a national synthetic marijuana distribution ring. “You knew something was up,” said neighbor Randy Hughes. “They either had a very successful business, or they were up to something they shouldn’t be. Every day, FedEx deliveries.”

The Fort Myers native was an integral part to the drug operation, and was charged with two felony counts of possession of synthetic narcotics with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts which included a probation violation. It’s unclear what exact role Carroll played in the operation, since authorities are maintaining radio silence on what they consider to be an “investigation of significance.”

“It’s still an active investigation,” said Lee County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tiffany Wood. “The community is safe.”

But some details about the bust have emerged, including how Carroll and his associates packaged and distributed their product. Deputies seized more than $1 million worth of synthetic marijuana from three different locations that was mixed in a cement mixer with chemicals like Acetone before adding flavors like jungle juice and electric banana. The synthetic pot was then shipped in colorful packages through the mail across several states.

Back in September, Carroll made local news for winning an online contest that sent him to watch the Breaking Bad series finale at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, as well as show creator Vince Gilligan. “I think we’re going to be in Hazmat suits with them,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be crazy.”

The autographed Hazmat suit was seized by deputies in the bust.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.

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