'Breaking Bad': Walter White Would Have Received at Least 10 Specific Charges if He Had Gotten Caught by the DEA

Breaking Bad is one of the century’s most acclaimed television shows, an intense drama that tells the story of Walter White, a mild-mannered chemistry teacher who turns to a life of drug dealing in order to create financial stability for his family. While White’s intentions might have been pure to start with, things quickly devolve, and White finds himself in a world beyond anything that he could have imagined. His life quickly spirals into murder, mayhem, and trauma. Breaking Bad culminates in a heartbreaking scene in which White, battered and at the end of his rope, dies in an attempt to free his young former partner Jesse. For many fans, his death scene was tragic. However, if Walter White had lived, he likely would have gone through even more trauma through charges filed by the DEA.

Walter White’s death scene in ‘Breaking Bad’ was intense and emotional

The fifth season of Breaking Bad is an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish, following the journey of an exiled Walter White. After some time in hiding, Walter determines to surrender, but only after freeing Jesse from captivity at Jack’s compound, where the young man had been forced to cook meth unceasingly. White sets up a remote-controlled machine gun, and manages to kill Jack and his accomplices — but he is mortally wounded in the aftermath.

The last few moments of Walter White’s life are spent on the floor in Jack’s meth lab, as he reminisces about what might have been. While Walter’s death scene is emotional, many fans have realized that if the former chemistry teacher had lived and been captured by the DEA, his last months would have taken a totally different turn. 

What real-life charges would Walter White have faced if he had lived?

Walter White might have started out with semi-honorable intentions, but things went sour very quickly. Notably, eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that White’s list of crimes was extensive, and if the DEA had captured him, as they likely would have eventually, he would have faced at least 10 specific charges. First and foremost, White would have faced at least eight counts of first-degree murder, for the deaths at Jack’s compound, charges related to the deaths of two federal agents, including his brother-in-law Hank and Hank’s partner Gomez, and charges related to his alleged involvement in the killing of Gus Fring.

Additionally, White could have faced charges related to the death of the young boy in the train robbery sequence, charges related to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of methamphetamine, money laundering charges, tax-related charges, illegal possession of a firearm (the machine gun used to kill Jack and his crew), unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and finally, RICO charges (The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) — which could essentially cover anything that the DEA wanted to include that wasn’t covered already in White’s previous charges.

As proof of the severity of White’s crimes, fans have pointed to a real-life criminal who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for dealing meth. The fictional White’s crimes were much, much worse, pointing to the fact that he likely would have gotten the book thrown at him by the DEA. 

It would have taken a long time to assemble a case against Walter White

With all of Walter White’s crimes, it probably would have taken law enforcement officials a very long time to formally assemble their case against him. In fact, it is very likely that White would have died before even getting a charge from court, considering that his cancer was shown to have taken a toll on his physical health. If he had survived to see a sentence, White would probably see the death penalty, as recompense for the laundry list of murder charges against him.

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