Illegal student chemist gets a pass
The young man whose arrest at the GrandMarc condo complex involved a HazMat team and whose guilty plea in June resulted not in any drug manufacturing charges sticking (even though the then second-year UVA organic chemistry major reportedly confessed to extracting amphetamines from Adderall pills), has won another victory. His sentencing has been "deferred" for a year. In other words, as long as 20-year-old Ian Diner doesn't violate the terms of his parole, his record will never show a conviction. While NBC29 has been following the case since the in-home lab was raided March 18, that didn't stop UVA from recognizing Diner's other accomplishments with a research award announced March 31. According to the release, the Sag Harbor, New York native won a prestigious summer fellowship named for the late David A. Harrison III. Diner's research focus was "Oxidative Decomplexation and Hydroaminations of a De-aromatized Tungsten-phenol Complex." In a town where a blogger can be jailed for reporting on drug-enforcement activities, it's hard to say whether the arrest of Diner was a legitimate police exercise or a Drug War over-reaction. By deferring the sentence, the court suggests the latter. A call to a UVA official to determine the status of Diner's fellowship was not immediately returned.