Author Topic: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab  (Read 7495 times)

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Offline ijontichy

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Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« on: September 14, 2015, 12:18:13 PM »
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A former university chemistry professor and his son are facing criminal charges after police busted a "sophisticated, industrial scale clandestine lab" capable of producing 1.5 million ecstasy pills in New Brunswick.

Daniel Cozak, 66, and Charles Cozak, 26, were arrested yesterday in Lac-Baker, NB, and charged with conspiracy to produce an illegal substance and drug production.

Police raided multiple locations, including a cottage in Lac-Baker, where the alleged lab was discovered.

"The production capacity of the clandestine lab in Lac-Baker had the potential to have major negative impacts on communities across the country and possibly elsewhere", the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news release. "The RCMP have seized the lab and police are in the process of dismantling it."

The case is sure to draw comparisons to the hit television show Breaking Bad, about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystallized methamphetamine kingpin.

The RCMP however, said they nipped the alleged New Brunswick operation in the bud, before it actually took products to market.

The elder Cozak used to teach chemistry at Laval University, in Quebec, where he lives.

He is listed as an instructor at Haward Technology Middle East, which provides training for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. According to the profile on the company website, Cozak is a senior chemical consultant with over 30 years experience in the fields of analytical chemistry, catalyst technology, polymer and polymerization, and process engineering, to name a few.

"Aside from being a well-regarded professor at the University of Laval," the synopsis states, and a "well-regarded" member of the American Chemical Society, Canadian Institute of Chemistry, New York Academy of Sciences and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers, Cozak has held "significant positions" with different international companies. He holds degrees from McGill University in Montreal and the Technical University of Munich.

He and his son appeared in at the Grand Falls Provincial Court on Wednesday and were to be transferred back to Quebec. A 55-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man were also arrested in Quebec as part of the same investigation.








https://news.vice.com/article/sound-familiar-this-former-chemistry-professor-has-been-charged-in-a-sophisticated-drug-lab-bust

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/news/2015/9/two-men-charged-after-police-execute-search-warrant-drug-lab
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 12:21:05 PM by ijontichy »
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Offline Lipbalm

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 03:28:02 PM »
Canada? He'll get 6 months lol
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Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 04:07:32 PM »
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Cozak

His "product " must have been the best on the market.
They worked in a relative clean lab (compared to Mexicans), and used high tech equipments.
I doubt they managed to produce signficant amount of that lovely substance because everything in the lab seams brand new, bearly used.   

Offline Zippy

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2015, 04:23:13 PM »
Man look at that sweet reactor in the back.  Must be 200 L at least.

It says they found MDA (which they are calling ecstasy lol) so probably he was using a certain popular starting material.  i wonder what is in those buckets.  Look familiar to anyone, like an intermediate?

Offline Scarecrow

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2015, 05:42:19 PM »
Have an definite inkling that those are buckets of amide
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Offline AnyNameWillDo

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 05:49:06 PM »
Have an definite inkling that those are buckets of amide

I was about to post the same thing!  Totally agree. 

How does that big reactor in the back work?  Like, can you reflux in that and it just handles the pressure build up or is it just a monster vessel that has heating and stirring...  Curious how condensation would work or if it's not for that and simply for stirring huge amounts at a specfic temperature..?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 05:54:17 PM by AnyNameWillDo »

Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 05:50:38 PM »
He must have developed an "ultra safe" method. In such a large scale any of our mentioned routes are extremly dangerous.
Working with hydroxylamine in kg quantities, well....... :-\
Maybe your are right guys.

Reading his papers, I am sure he had managed to develop  ( or find an existing one)  catalyst to make the reaction (if that is amide) safer.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 05:57:01 PM by thewire »

Offline Scarecrow

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 06:04:09 PM »
Hmmm I dont think thats neccisarily true. The zinc oxide one pot could be done safely, im 99% sure that whatever method he is using is probably one that we have discussed, he probably just has the chemical engineering skills to upscale it safely.
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Offline Scarecrow

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 06:23:05 PM »
Hell even my one pot amide seems to be able to be done at low temps. The lab doesnt look THAT well equipped, the reactor is nice though. Its my dream to one day have some secret lab which is just decked out as fuck, steel top benches, nitrogen and vacuum taps on the bench, heaps of cupboards, rotary evaporators <3 <3
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Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 06:24:49 PM »
The gray box (on top of that is a tray) is a heat exchanger.
https://uk.linkedin.com/company/sterling-thermal-techhnology-ltd
http://www.sterlingtt.com/

I don't see the condenser unit but it must be somewhere there.  I don't see a vacuum pump either. 
This sutup can be used for refluxing, cooling,  distilling (at normal pressure if he didn't have vacuum pump).
If I am not wrong.     

Offline ijontichy

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 06:28:33 PM »
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Daniel Cozak, 66, and his son Charles, 26, were arrested at their secret laboratory on the shores of Lake Baker, along the Quebec-New Brunswick border. The lab contained drugs, the chemicals to manufacture them and weapons, AFP reported.

these two guys... looks like they are the original twodogs
I doubt that to be amide. Looks more like oxime to me... They were caught on the easiest part.
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Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 06:35:20 PM »
The lab doesnt look THAT well equipped, the reactor is nice though.

It does look pretty cool to me , however it wouldn't beat this lab:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbq9nMYk3OQ

Offline ijontichy

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2015, 06:51:27 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbq9nMYk3OQ

wow! this is EPIC shit!

Looks like our "Walter White" was more interested on Iran chemistry and Solid State Chemistry https://youtube.com/playlist?list=FL-7T9NO70L_F12qd2tEyhZQ
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Offline Zippy

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 07:08:11 PM »
I think I can make out a glass set-up coming out of the top of the reactor, this is probably how he distilled off solvent and refluxed fumes.  At this scale you would want to be able to purify your material by slurrying and recrystalization, ideally telescoping procedures so you don't have to isolate products so much. 
He probably had a good procedure worked out on the kilo scale and was going to go large.  I wonder how he got caught. Some suspicious chemical order maybe?

Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2015, 07:16:23 PM »
I wonder how he got caught. Some suspicious chemical order maybe?

100%

I am more interested in his motivation. He is a reputable chemistry, 6x years old, and start  setting up a mega xtc lab? It doesn't add up. He must have been very desperate for some reason  doing this.

Offline Lipbalm

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2015, 07:17:57 PM »
No need for all that equipment. That oxime can be made in a 17 gallon bucket you can buy at Kmart for $10 and a cheap $100 overhead stirrer.

And as for the hydroxylamine comment I have personally thrown several kg's of hydroxlamine in a bucket and then immediately thrown several kg's of lye in with it. Not a problem.
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Offline thewire

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2015, 07:23:52 PM »
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No need for all that equipment.

Of course not. If one aim 99+ product, worth to invest decent  equipments (as other mega lab operators do in other countries).

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2015, 07:44:15 PM »
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No need for all that equipment.

Of course not. If one aim 99+ product, worth to invest decent  equipments (as other mega lab operators do in other countries).

A couple A/Bs in a $2 bucket will acheive this purity assuming procedure is being run correctly and optimally.
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Offline ijontichy

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 07:48:32 PM »
This reminds me of these lab's busts, two years ago:

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A vast drugs laboratory was found hidden within the premises of a farm near Chimay, in southern Belgium. One Bulgarian arrested worked as the ‘chemist’ and was discovered locked inside the production facility, in a concealed fitted-out apartment. In total, two clandestine laboratories and two warehouses in Belgium were raided.





https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/police-discover-largest-synthetic-drugs-production-site-ever-found-eu

https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/largest-ecstasy-lab-ever-found-europe-dismantled
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Offline Scarecrow

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Re: Real-life Breaking Bad: Chemistry professor busted over secret lab
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 08:00:43 PM »
See I would have very little idea on how to rig up all of this large scale equipment, then again I guess you could probably learn via the internet. Perhaps a chemical engineering degree would teach you this sort of thing
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