Senior Living Community Confronts Real-Life ‘Breaking Bad’ Scenario

A resident at California League-Fresno Village retirement community has allegedly been stashing meth and operating what appeared to be a small-scale meth lab in his senior living apartment, according to several reports. 

Robert Short was pulled over by police for a routine traffic stop Saturday, June 14, and was later booked into the Fresno County jail on suspicion of several drug charges, police say. The 64-year-old Northern California man had just moved to the retirement community three months ago and, at the time of his recent arrest, was on supervised release after a previous conviction for selling meth. 

During the traffic stop, police found 4 ounces of crystal meth, plastic bags and an electronic scale, according to Sgt. Brian Valles. Police then searched Short’s apartment in California League-Fresno Village, near Fresno Pacific University, and discovered a half-pound of meth with a street value of $1,700, a half-pound of heroin and what was seemingly the makings for a small-scale meth lab, Guardian Liberty Voice reports


“[It’s] just shocking someone that age would do that, but actually a perfect place to do it, right? Retirement village — who would suspect it going on there?” Lt. Joe Gomez told KFSN-TV.

Neighbors say Short kept to himself and wasn’t well-known, and pictures of his apartment show the windows covered and multiple “do not disturb” signs. Despite signs suggesting Short was a reclusive resident, they didn’t necessarily point to a meth lab operation.

Cooking meth —  which involves explosive, flammable and poisonous chemicals that create a hazardous and contaminated environment during the manufacturing process — generally creates strong, toxic fumes, leading to the belief that Short either had a large-scale ventilation system, had not yet begun to manufacture the meth or his operations had gone unnoticed by neighbors. But police say the evidence found in Short’s car and apartment were consisted with someone selling meth. 


Short is currently in Fresno County jail awaiting a court appearance for charges including possession with intent to sell narcotics, transportation of narcotics and making meth in proximity to a school. There is no information currently available regarding when his court date will occur or if he has hired a lawyer. 

Written by Emily Study

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