Federal Employee May Have Been Cooking Meth at Government Agency’s Campus

Jesse Pinkman (left) and Walter White baking meth in the AMC television series "Breaking Bad." Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said of the explosion at the federal facility: “Even Hollywood couldn’t have imagined this plot twist.” Jesse Pinkman (left) and Walter White baking meth in the AMC television series "Breaking Bad." Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said of the explosion at the federal facility: “Even Hollywood couldn’t have imagined this plot twist.” AMC

A federal employee may have recently learned the hard way that cooking meth should be left to the chemistry experts.

The FBI and a congressional committee are investigating whether a federal worker was manufacturing methamphetamine in a federal building after a room exploded earlier this month.

After a July 18 explosion at a building at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus, authorities found many of the key ingredients for making meth and a recipe for the drug, according to News4, the NBC’s Washington, D.C., affiliate. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is looking into whether a federal police lieutenant who was injured in the blast was involved in cooking the meth.

The lieutenant resigned from NIST last week, according to The Washington Post. The officer originally told authorities the blast occurred after trying to refill a butane lighter.

“Even Hollywood couldn’t have imagined this plot twist,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the science committee. “As the science committee expands its investigation, it is becoming clear we must better monitor those with access to our nation’s high-tech research facilities.”

The committee is seeking NIST’s building access records to track the movements of the former employee. 

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