LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A former science teacher in New Mexico manufactures methamphetamine. Sound familiar?
The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that John W. Gose, who taught science at schools in Las Cruces and El Paso, pleaded guilty to charges that he manufactured and possessed methamphetamine.
Gose, 56, of San Miguel, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by manufacturing and one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He entered the pleas before state District Judge Fernando R. Macias in 3rd Judicial District Court in Las Cruces.
Gose was arrested on Oct. 2, 2016, during a traffic stop in Las Cruces. During the stop, police officers discovered a white Styrofoam ice chest that contained glassware, rubber tubing and chemicals, which a lab later confirmed can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Investigators subsequently searched Gose’s property and found additional chemicals and supplies that suggested he was manufacturing methamphetamine.
Authorities determined that Gose was in possession of the ingredients necessary to yield at least one pound of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of $44,800.
According to prosecutors, Gose taught science for eight-and-a-half years in Texas, at Irvin High School in El Paso. He resigned from the El Paso Independent School District in December 2008, and the following month, he took a job as a vocational teacher at Oñate High School in Las Cruces, prosecutors said.
He resigned from the Las Cruces Public Schools after one semester, but he returned to the district to teach eighth-grade science at Camino Real Middle School, where he taught from August 2013 to February 2016.
After pleading guilty to the four counts, Gose was ordered to undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation with the New Mexico Department of Corrections before sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.
He faces up to 20 years, 6 months in prison.
“That the defendant in this case chose to plead guilty to all of the charges is a testament to the strength of the investigation,” District Attorney Mark D’Antonio said in statement. “Thanks to the hard work of the Las Cruces Police Department, the New Mexico State Police and the prosecutors in this office, we are able to close the books on this case of life imitating art while saving the taxpayers of New Mexico the cost of a jury trial.”
Gose's case somewhat mirrors the plot of the popular TV series Breaking Bad. In the AMC show, Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, is diagnosed with cancer and begins manufacturing and selling methamphetamine as a way to make money for his family. Walter White has become an icon of pop culture and the show has brought attention and tourism dollars to New Mexico.
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