An elderly math professor who sought refuge in the U.S. as a former Soviet dissident has been charged with turning her Massachusetts home into a meth lab.
Irina Kristy, 74, an adjunct math professor at Suffolk University and lecturer at Boston University, was charged this week with conspiracy to violate drug laws, drug violation near a school and distribution of methamphetamine. Her son, Grigory Genkin, 29, was charged with the same crimes in November.
Kristy, who emigrated to the U.S. from Moscow in 1985, was identified in an Associated Press article from the time as a Soviet peace activist and friend of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andre Sakharov. According to the report, Kristy and her husband, Sergei Genkin, were under surveillance by the KGB and spent time under house arrest until they fled to the U.S. with son Grigory. Both Kristy and her husband were mathematicians in the Soviet Union, according to the report.
In August 2010, authorities began investigating Genkin and the home he shared with Kristy in Somerville, Mass. Detectives and special agents investigated the pair until November 2011, when a search warrant was issued. A multi-hour search that included hazardous materials teams, a helicopter, and multiple state and federal agents was conducted at the home, where at least two explosive materials were detonated, according to the Somerville Journal.
Police found numerous empty boxes of pseudoephedrine, as well as cans of solvents and chemicals known to be used in methamphetamine production, according to the police report.
Documents from the DEA show that authorities also found soda bottles filled with cloudy liquids, presumed to be by-products of the cooking process, according to the Somerville Journal.
Kristy, the owner of the home, told the Journal she did not know anything about the operation following the drug bust.
The police report, however, stated that police believed Kristy was at least somewhat involved in the crime.
"Due to the amount of materials and contraband located and seized...It is believed that... Kristy was complicit in the methamphetamine operation," read Somerville Det. Michael Brown's report.
Neither Kristy nor her son responded to calls from ABC News today.
Following the search, an arrest warrant for Genkin was issued, and he soon turned himself in to police. He was released on $1,000 bail and will have a preliminary hearing in Somerville District Court this month.
Kristy was charged this week. Officials at Suffolk University, where she has been an adjunct professor since 1985, said she has been placed on administrative leave through the end of the semester, and was not reappointed for the spring semester. A spokesman for Boston University, where she has lectured since 1987, did not want to comment.