03/20/2012 05:13 pm ET

Paul Frampton, UNC Physics Professor, Jailed On Cocaine Smuggling Charges In Argentina

Paul H. Frampton, a professor of physics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, remains in an Argentine prison after being arrested Jan. 23 on cocaine smuggling charges, the United Press International reports.

Police arrested Frampton after authorities at Buenos Aires International Airport found two kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The professor, who holds three degrees from Oxford University, was connecting through the airport on his way home after taking a personal trip to South America that "had been a topic of speculation around the [physics department]," according to a colleague who spoke to the paper.

Frampton has maintained he is innocent of smuggling drugs and has also accused UNC Provost Bruce Carney of letting academic jealousy cloud his handling of the case.

"I am one of the most published physicists, and really [Carney] hasn’t done much that is of interest," Frampton said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

With over 400 publications to his credit, Frampton's academic record is impressive. His legal record, however, is less so.

According to Chapel Hill police reports published by the Daily Tar Heel, Frampton was arrested in 2005 on charges of driving while intoxicated. Police released him after he issued a written promise to appear in court.

Read the Raleigh News & Observer's report for more on this story.