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11/27/2012 05:28 pm ET

Paul Frampton, UNC Professor, Sentenced To House Arrest For Role In Argentina Drug-Smuggling Case (VIDEO)

This week, an Argentine court sentenced University of North Carolina physics professor Paul Frampton to four years and eight months of house arrest in a bizarre drug smuggling case.

Frampton's case has all the ingredients of Latin soap opera: An Oxford-educated professor falls in love with a glamour model nearly half his age, then gets tangled up with villains while attempting to win her heart.

Unfortunately for Frampton, however, his circumstances turned out to be decidedly real-life, while the glamour model didn't.

Nearly a year ago Frampton, 68, headed to Argentina, believing he was en route to meet Denise Milani, a "Miss Bikini World" model.

When Milani failed to show up at the airport, a man claiming to represent her assured the professor the model was waiting to meet him in Brussels and -- if he would be so kind -- could Frampton bring her luggage with him?

Frampton accepted the luggage, but ended up getting cold feet, deciding instead to head back to the United States. Before he could put his seatback and tray table in the full upright and locked position, though, Argentine police found 2 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the liner of Milani's supposed luggage. Frampton was promptly arrested.

"He has a high IQ, is well-known and very distinguished in the field of physics and other scientific areas, but when it comes to common sense he scored a zero," former D.C. homicide investigator Rod Wheeler said of Frampton, summing up the case for ABC News.

That lack of common sense landed Frampton in an Argentine prison (where he earned the obvious nickname "The Professor") and also allowed him to request a raise from UNC while he remained incarcerated. (The raise was suspended).

NBC 17 reports Frampton will likely serve most of his sentence at a friend's apartment in Buenos Aires.

A website devoted to helping Frampton -- helppaulframpton.org -- believes the professor will serve a total of 2 years, 4 months under actual house arrest, with an expected release date in May 2014.

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