Turns out Ryan Lee Carroll was more than just a "Breaking Bad" fan – he may have been a student of the hit AMC show about a chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin.
Carroll, 28, was booked into the Lee County jail around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday on felony charges of possession of a synthetic narcotic and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of keeping a shop or vehicle for dangerous drugs.
It's unclear from an online booking report what kind of drugs Carroll is accused of possessing.
Authorities began a criminal investigation at the San Carlos Park home Carroll is renting on Tuesday morning. Lee County sheriff's deputies were still working at the home, 17363 Meadow Lake Circle, late in the evening, but have since left. The home backs up to the San Carlos Park Elementary School baseball fields.
Carroll made local headlines in September when he won a contest sponsored by "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul to fly to Los Angeles to attend a private party with the show's cast to watch the series finale.
"I think we're going to be in Hazmat suits with them," Carroll said at the time. "It's going to be crazy."
The FGCU grad called the show "highly addicting, just like the meth they make."
James Lee Allen, 35, of Cape Coral, also was booked into the Lee County jail at about the same time as Carroll and faces the same charges. His connection to Carroll was not immediately clear, but he was in a photo that Carroll sent to the Daily News in September prior to his trip to California. Media reports said deputies had two men in the back of a patrol car Tuesday.
A black pickup that had been in Carroll's driveway is now gone. A black Ford Mustang remains.
Neighbor Greg Gremaud said one male he estimated to be in his late 20s or early 30s lived at the home, with others coming in and out of the house. Gremaud said some investigators at the home were wearing heavy duty gloves, leading him to suspect chemical use or a drug manufacturing investigation.
Gremaud said the circle, which has about 60 homes, hasn't seen crime problems in his 20-plus years there.
"It's just a quote-unquote quiet little neighborhood," Gremaud said.