In AMC's smash-hit drama "Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston played Walter White — a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine cook who built a meth empire in the Desert Southwest. In reality, America's meth empire is much closer to home. (Photo: AMC TV)
In AMC's smash-hit drama "Breaking Bad," Bryan Cranston played Walter White — a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine cook who built a meth empire in the Desert Southwest. In reality, America's meth empire is much closer to home. (Photo: AMC TV)

 

In the recently-ended television series “Breaking Bad,” Walter White was a high school chemistry teacher who built a criminal empire with the production and distribution of methamphetamine after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The AMC show, which concluded its fifth and final season last month as one of cable television’s all-time most popular dramas, examined the broad-scale consequences that occurred because of the actions of a few in the fictional methamphetamine capital of the desert Southwest.

But in reality, the meth capital of the United States is much closer to home.

According to numbers compiled last week by popular news website The Huffington Post, using data made available by federal law enforcement agencies, there were 1,585 meth lab “incidents” in Tennessee in 2012. That ranks behind Missouri’s 1,825, but is still second in the nation — and far ahead of most states.

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