The UNC-Chapel Hill professor accused of trying to smuggle 2 kilograms of cocaine out of Argentina has been released from prison for health reasons, but must remain in the country while he awaits trial.
Paul Frampton, a professor of physics and astronomy, is under house arrest at the home of a friend in Buenos Aires, according to UNC mathematics professor Mark Williams, who has been advocating on Frampton’s behalf on campus.
Frampton was arrested Jan. 23 at the international airport in Buenos Aires after the drugs were found hidden in the lining of a piece of his checked luggage as he was trying to fly back to North Carolina.
Frampton, who is 69, said he had been duped into carrying the otherwise empty suitcase after flying to South America for what he thought would be a meeting with a bikini model he thought he had met on the Internet. He said he never actually saw the woman, and was instead asked by a man who presented himself as an intermediary to transport the suitcase.
Frampton was granted house arrest at the friend’s apartment after the judges in the case ordered a medical examination. The doctor found that he had developed a respiratory condition that was being aggravated by the heavy secondhand smoke that fills the prison.