In a real-life news story that is oddly reminiscent of a the hit TV drama Breaking Bad, a father-of-two and secondary school teacher Macphallen Kuwale had a secret narcotics factory in his home in Cardiff, Wales in the UK.
In a nutshell, the recently-ended Breaking Bad series tells the story of chemistry teacher Walter White who resorts to producing and selling methamphetamine after facing serious health and money troubles.
In Kuwale’s lab was more than 100 grams of cocaine, the equivalent of 1.5 million dollars of cutting agents and a pressing machine to make class A substances appear of a higher grade, therefore turning a higher profit.
In another twist that parallels the hit show, Kuwale was arranging drug deals via “coded” text messages under the persona of “Mac,” according to the investigating Welsh detectives. For those who were avid followers of Breaking Bad, this is just like the drug-dealing teacher’s character, Walter White, who assumes the alias of “Heisenberg” and has a secret second mobile phone, as a way to cover his tracks.
Kuwale was handed a three-and-a-half year jail term by Cardiff crown court last year before the General Teaching Council Wales (GTCW) conducted a disciplinary hearing in the Welsh capital on Thursday.
Back in December of 2012, Detective Timothy Jones, of the South Wales police drug squad, told the GTCW panel that 111 grams of cocaine was seized during the raid at Kuwale’s home.
Det. Jones said, “Kuwale was heavily involved in the supply of cocaine. He was involved in street level dealing as well as a sophisticated wholesale operation. It was totally unusual. It is not something that you come across every day.”
Again like the show, at the time of his arrest, Kuwale claimed he was severely stressed at the time due to money problems which nearly resulted in his home being repossessed. Yet, the technology whiz, who holds a degree in computing, flat-out denied being a drug dealer and used the age-old excuse that he was just “holding the drugs as a favor for someone.”
Jones, a seasoned narcotics detective with 11 years under his belt, said that, in his experience, people in the drug world “did not do favours [sic] for nothing.” Adding that “This was in the higher echelons.”
Also giving evidence at the GTCW hearing was Kuwale’s former Head Teacher, Andrew Warren.
Warren testified that the school continually tried to help Kuwale after concerns about his teaching abilities were raised by both parents and students. Kuwale’s grasp of English was also called into question.
GTCW panel chairman Steve Powell said they had no option but to permanently ban Kuwale from teaching. In a statement released with the decision, Powell said, “Mr. Kuwale presents a significant and ongoing risk to the standards of the profession. His involvement in the illegal drugs trade is evidence of deep-seated attitudinal problems. We cannot be satisfied that there is no risk of repetition. The proportionate sanction is an indefinite prohibition order. The wellbeing of pupils must be protected and the reputation of the profession maintained.”
Kuwale, who had asked for the hearing to take place in private, has 28 days to appeal against the GTCW’s decision.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.