A New York City teacher and her Fire Department EMT boyfriend have been arrested for peddling heroin and an assortment of prescription drugs.
Lisa Testa, 33, and Joseph Meyer, 25, made nearly a dozen drug deals to authorities during an undercover sting operation. They were finally jailed over the weekend and charged with criminal possession and criminal sale.
Although she only worked as a substitute teacher for two days in 2008, she remained on the city’s call list until her recent arrest. Her mother, Grace, acknowledged that her daughter had a drug problem, but was reluctant to believe that she was selling.
“I’ve been begging her to go to rehab for a long time. It’s not her personality to sell drugs. Maybe to take it, but not to sell it,” she said. “If by some chance she was dealing, it couldn’t have been more than $100 worth of stuff.”
However, this isn’t the first time that “Breaking Bad” has become real life.
Check out these five drug dealing teachers.
- In 2012, Macphallen Kuwale from Cardiff, Wales, was given a permanent teaching ban after police found a $1.5 million meth lab in his home and $1,300 worth of cocaine. Cutting agents and a pressing machine to make the cocaine a higher grade were also found in the lab, but he denied running a drug ring and said he was holding onto the cocaine for a friend. Last March, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
- In a true mimicking of Walter White, Texas chemistry teacher William Duncan was arrested in September 2012 for selling meth to undercover officers in the parking lot of the junior high school he taught in. Police also found a stash of meth in his van and he admitted to being addicted to the substance after initially using it to treat chronic back pain.
- In April 2012, 31-year-old English teacher Meredith Pruitt was arrested for selling drugs and hiring her own students for some of the deals. She reportedly gave a 15-year-old student four anxiety pills known as Clonazepam, urging him to sell them and then give her a cut of the profits. She was fired that same day and released on $15,000 bond.
- Philadelphia-based history teacher Paul Smith was arrested last February for making a heroin deal just two miles from the school. Police later found 25 packets of heroin inside of his van and $200 in cash. Dennis Probst, an administrator at Northeast Preparatory School, later said that he “was at a loss of words for this. He’s fired immediately. I will not have that person around my school, or around my kids, at all.”
- An elementary school teacher in Connecticut was arrested last month for selling marijuana out of her apartment, less than a mile from the school. Kirsten Dergosits and her husband, Robert Dergosits, were arrested after officers discovered the marijuana operation, recovering three and a half pounds of pot worth more than $12,000, 22 grams of methamphetamine and $4,300 in cash. She had been a member of the Manchester school district since 2005, but was immediately placed on administrative leave.
Weigh in: Do you think the “Breaking Bad” TV series influenced these teachers to get into the drug business? Leave a comment below.