Terminally Ill Drug Trafficker Sentenced In Breaking Bad-Esque Case

By McCarton Ackerman 11/16/16

The ailing family man pleaded guilty to importing vast quantities of pure methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine tablets.

Terminally Ill Drug Trafficker Sentenced In Breaking Bad-Esque Case

Sometimes real life can imitate television. In a story reminiscent of Breaking Bad, a terminally ill Aussie has been sentenced to more than 19 years in jail after smuggling more than $60 million worth of methamphetamine into the coastal city of Adelaide.

Anthony John Scott, 45, had been diagnosed with a terminal heart condition after being treated for four heart attacks in 15 years. But his condition didn’t stop him from running a business importing pavers and stone products, or using the company as a means to smuggle drugs inside one of his shipments. Scott was busted last year for importing 1,400 pseudoephedrine tablets and over 47 kilograms of pure methamphetamine from Indonesia in December 2015.

“Methamphetamine is an insidious and dangerous drug,” said Judge Rauf Soulio at sentencing, according to Australia's ABC News. “You were aware of the serious consequences of dealing with drugs in Asian countries.”

Scott’s family told the judge that he was a loving father to five children and had been diagnosed with stimulant use disorder, in addition to suffering from methamphetamine addiction for the past 20 years. Scott was also allegedly under the influence of the drug at the time of his attempt to transport the methamphetamine.

But Soulio was unwavering in his sentence, noting that “perhaps ironically, your arrest has saved your life." Scott must serve at least 10 years and eight months of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Other stories of life imitating Breaking Bad have also made headlines in recent years. In September 2012, a junior high school chemistry teacher in Texas was arrested for selling homemade meth to undercover officers in the parking lot of the school where he taught. Police also found a stash of meth in the van belonging to William Duncan, but noted he never sold the drug to students.

“He’s real upset about what he’s done,” said Linden Police Chief Alton McWaters at the time. “But as I told him, I've got to do my job—and you've got to go to jail.”

In January 2014, a Breaking Bad contest winner from Florida was arrested for his role in a national synthetic marijuana distribution ring. Ryan Carroll had won an online contest a few months earlier that gave him the chance to watch the series finale with the Breaking Bad cast and crew in Hollywood. But after deputies seized more than $1 million worth of synthetic pot from three locations throughout the Fort Myers area, he was charged with two felony counts of possession of synthetic narcotics with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.