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Life Imitates ‘Breaking Bad:’ Man, 64, Accused Of Running Meth Lab In Upscale Westchester Town

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police have busted an alleged meth lab in a place where it may not be expected – on a quiet street in an upscale Westchester County neighborhood.

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, police said there was something cooking at the home at 24 Red Oak Lane in Mount Kisco. They charged homeowner Peter Russell, an accountant, with manufacturing crystal methamphetamine.

Even police were surprised.

“It’s very unusual,” said New Castle police Detective Sgt. James Wilson. “It’s not something we’ve seen before.”

“It’s upsetting,” said Alex Bosella, of Golden’s Bridge.

Police have not said what led them to the discovery, but a source told CBS 2 the suspect was having marital problems and may have been turned in by his wife. Wherever the tip came from, officers who served the search warrant Saturday said they knew something was up the moment they hit the door.

“The house has an odor to it,” Wilson said. “It was very dangerous. You’re dealing with chemicals that are very unstable.”

And with the suspect being a 64-year-old husband and father, neighbors wondered if it was a case of life imitating art.

“You know, you have a certain expectancy of someone of that age, that he’s home with, you know, his grandkids or his wife, and the idea that there’s a meth lab in the basement or in his house is just, it’s interesting,” said Grace Molina, of Mount Kisco, adding that it all reminded her of the hit TV series “Breaking Bad.”

Police said there is no evidence that Russell is quite like Bryan Cranston’s Walter White character – also a meth cook – but it did fire the imagination. Some suggested it was not difficult to comprehend such things happening in the neighborhood.

“I think no matter what area you’re in or what demographic, people try to make a quick buck,” said Oren Shapiro of Chappaqua.

Meanwhile, the state will be trying to be making the case without the drug. No product was found – only the fiixngs and the lab equipment.

Russell was free on $5,000 bail, and was set to face a judge Thursday night.

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