Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- Two employees of Ryan Lee Carroll, the Fort Myers man who won the chance to meet the TV stars of "Breaking Bad" last year and was arrested New Year's Eve on charges of synthetic narcotic possession with intent to sell, have pleaded out on similar charges.
Carroll was a key player in a national synthetic marijuana distribution operation, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
Carroll, 28, was arrested on charges of synthetic narcotic possession with intent to sell, drug possession and keeping a shop or vehicle for dangerous drugs.
Benjamin Smith, 33, of Winter Haven, and James Lee Allen, 35, of Cape Coral, were arrested on similar charges.
Smith pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree felony conspiracy to commit sale of a controlled substance and received 18 months probation. Allen pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree felony sale of controlled substance and received 36 months probation.
Carroll's case had not yet been resolved pending trial, according to Samantha Syoen, public information officer for the State Attorney's Office.
This year Lee County deputies seized more than $1 million in synthetic marijuana from the manufacturing operation headquarters in the 1700 block of Meadow Lake Circle, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies also seized evidence from two homes in the 17400 block of Ellie Drive and the 8400 block of Bahamas Road.
Carroll and his associates used a cement mixer to mix plant matter with chemicals, including toxic Acetone, according to the sheriff's office. They added flavors such as "jungle juice" or "electric banana."
The drugs were then packaged in colorful wrappers bearing several dozen different brand names and shipped via the U.S. Postal Service to other states.
The sheriff's office declined to release where the drugs were shipped and how long the operation has been running.
There are possibly more people involved who have not been arrested yet, and the sheriff's office alluded that Carroll might be working for a boss higher up.
Deputies also seized a souvenir Hazmat suit signed by "Breaking Bad" cast members. The hit TV show follows the life of a chemistry teacher who becomes a methamphetamine manufacturer.
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