RealNews

Professor in plague investigation reportedly carried samples on planes

The Texas Tech University researcher accused of lying to the FBI about missing vials of plague bacteria repeatedly carried live samples of the germ aboard commercial airliners, a newspaper reported. Thomas Butler’s attorney, Floyd Holder, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the professor imported plague about 60 times over the past 30 years, but said his method of transporting the specimens was “absolutely safe.” Holder said he believes federal authorities probably will file additional charges against Butler accusing him of failing to go through proper channels in importing live plague samples. Transporting such biological material requires permits and other documents. “There may be some laws out there somewhere that somebody thinks he broke, but I don’t think he did,” Holder said. “There may have been some problem with whether he dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t.’ Certainly he had no criminal intent to smuggle anything in.” Full Story

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