NJ scientist accused of making illegal drugs in his home

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (WABC) -- A scientist in New Jersey is accused of making drugs inside his home. Neighbor's say it mirrors a popular TV show.

Kurt Romondt spent countless hours in labs and long nights studying to become a biochemist.

That hard work paid off, the 44-year-old made it big as a senior scientist at Merck Pharmaceuticals.

But investigators say when he wasn't doing his day job; he used his talents to make drugs inside his Springfield, New Jersey home.

"Different hours of the night. It's been a revolving door. And that's not this kind of community," a neighbor said.

Romondt's neighbors compare it to the hit TV show "Breaking Bad".

A struggling high school science teacher who uses his expertise to produce and sell drugs.

Romondt got caught allegedly receiving a large delivery to his condo through the U.S. mail.

Inside the package, was the chemical commonly used to synthesize the club drug GHB.

"It's using good skills and good knowledge to do something bad. It's like that TV show "Breaking Bad". It's on TV and here it is in our neighborhood," said Janet Gray, a neighbor.

"I'm mortified. I'm shocked. To throw it all away. A date rape drug! Are you kidding me? He's smarter than that," said Mark Stanziale, a neighbor.

Neighbors snapped photos of police in their quiet neighborhood Thursday afternoon seizing drugs, a scale and materials used to process and produce the date rape drug, and in some cases used to produce human growth hormone in the body.

Neighbors say the suspect is a brilliant man who did something really dumb.

"I'm shocked. I grew up in Springfield. I'm disappointed and uncomfortable. We don't need him here. It's been a rough couple of years," a neighbor said.

Romondt faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the more serious charges.

He's being held on $200,000 bail at the Union County jail.

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