Chemistry student busted for on-campus meth lab

Insert your own Breaking Bad joke here. An entrepreneurial graduate student in chemistry has been charged with operating a methamphetamine lab on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Apparently, a professor became suspicious of materials they noticed in the science building. Analysis with a spectrometer indicated meth byproducts. Police then looked at keycard accesss to the building and identified Jeremy Smalling, 45, who had previously won a prestigious university award for his chemistry research.


SIUE police checked the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) database that tracks pseudoephedrine purchases. Investigators said Smalling was listed as attempting 365 pseudoephedrine purchases in the last 10 years and was blocked from purchases 45 times[…]

On Jan. 10, officers noted that they watched the suspect enter his apartment with suspected meth-making materials he'd just purchased and that they noticed the bedroom window was open, even though the temperature was 36 degrees Fahrenheit at the time.

The Madison County State's Attorney's Office charged Smalling with four felony counts, including aggravated participation in meth making and possession with the intent to deliver.