A 78-year-old Walter White wannabe was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Monday for conspiracy to build a vast drug network to cook and deal crystal meth in Bristol, England, the BBC reported. Reports had compared George Rogers, a career criminal and cancer patient, to Walter White of the cult television series "Breaking Bad" since the start of the trial. Eight other members of his drug gang were also sentenced Monday, with penalties ranging from 4 to 18 years in prison.
In the hit AMC show "Breaking Bad," White, portrayed by actor Bryan Cranston, is a high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking meth to pay for his lung cancer treatments. When the jury was told at the start of the trial in September 2014 that Rogers also suffered from cancer, comparisons between the two men took off in the media.
The nine members of Rogers' gang, ranging in age from 27 to 78, planned to flood the drug market of the south of England with crystal meth and other drugs. Meth is one of the easier illegal drugs to sell in mass production as all of the materials are legal substances and most can be bought at a local pharmacy, such as codeine cough syrup.
— BBC News England (@BBCEngland) July 27, 2015
The Bristol gang was caught because the police had been monitoring their activity via bugs on their cars and in their cell phones. In addition to crystal meth, the group was planning supply cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy. The conspirators wanted to set up their drug lab near Birmingham, in southern England, because it is right off a major highway and is already an area known for drug users.
"They thought they would not be overheard. They were completely wrong," said Stephen Mooney, prosecutor for the case, as reported by the Bristol Post. Mooney described how the police had recorded multiple conversations between Rogers and one of his main cohorts, David Nash, 61.
"Nash told Rogers he had a great deal of confidence in his cookery,” Mooney said.