05/16/2013 12:15 pm ET

Physics Lab Tech Pleads Guilty, Receives Sentence In Cocaine Case


Man uses machine in science lab to make illicit substance.

If that sounds like a pitch for the hit AMC television show Breaking Bad, it's also a pretty fair description of a real-life crime that unfolded recently at a top university in England -- only the English case involved a lab tech and cocaine instead of a high school chemistry teacher and methamphetamine.

The man at the center of it all, Timothy Newbury, was until recently a technician in a University of Bristol physics lab. On December 27, 2012, he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply after the police discovered more than $15,000 of the contraband in his car, Tom Morris, a reporter with the Bristol Post, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Newbury and an accomplice, Nicholas Avery, were suspected of using a hydraulic press in the lab to form cocaine into blocks, the Daily Mail reported. Video surveillance shows the duo entering the lab prior to being arrested.

"In effect the Crown says there was a cutting workshop at Mr. Avery's home and a pressing workshop at the university which was operated by Mr. Newbury," prosecutor Kenneth Bell said in court when the duo were sentenced May 10, 2013, the Bristol Post reported.

Newbury will spend 18 months in jail, the Bristol Post reported. Avery faces five years -- he pled guilty to an additional possession charge after police found cocaine worth $300,000 in his home.

(h/t io9)



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