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Chinese researcher sentenced to time served for stealing cancer drug research

MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - A Chinese researcher will not spend any more time behind bars on charges that he stole an experimental drug and its related research, so he could pass it off as his own in China.

Federal Judge Charles Clevert of Milwaukee sentenced 41-year-old Hua Jun Zhao to the time he already served while his case was going through the courts – plus two years of probation.

Zhao was accused of stealing a potential cancer-fighting chemical, and downloading the research behind the drug to his personal computer.

It happened while he worked as a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin near Milwaukee.

The compound was never found – and Zhao struck a plea deal in July, pleading guilty to a reduced count of illegally downloading research data.

Zhao told the judge he only wanted to protect the data – and he had no intention of profiting from it.

Several Medical College officials were in the courtroom.

None spoke when the judge invited them to.