Student with half-pound of marijuana arrested

A male student was arrested last week for allegedly selling and distributing drugs after Community Living and Learning Center staff found half a pound of marijuana in his dorm room along with several scales during an administrative search.

University Police Department Chief Dolores Stafford said the freshman, who lives in Thurston Hall, was arrested Jan. 30 and transported to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District headquarters, where he was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. is handling the case as a misdemeanor for the possession of controlled substances, the office of spokesman Channing Phillips said. The student’s status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15. He faces a maximum sentence of 180 days, Phillips’ office said.

Stafford said UPD officers were dispatched at 11:14 p.m. to a room in the dormitory after smelling a suspicious odor. She said both the drugs and the scales were confiscated after being discovered.

Student Judicial Services Director Tara Woolfson wrote in an e-mail this week that she was unable to comment on the specifics of the case, but said that such cases are typically adjudicated at the University Hearing Board level. The board is made up of as many as five student members and one faculty or staff member and hears high-level, non-academic disciplinary cases that could result in the cancellation of a student’s Residence Hall License Agreement, suspension or expulsion from the University.

“If a student is found in violation of manufacturing, distributing or possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, recommended sanctions include suspension or expulsion,” Woolfson wrote.

Since the arrest, the student’s roommates have been going room to room in Thurston trying to get students to sign a petition to lessen his punishment from the University.

Freshman Lawrence Wu, one of the student’s three roommates, said he thinks SJS might not come down so hard if enough people signed a petition.

“We did the petition because we were hoping that if enough people signed the petition he’d get a more lenient punishment and not get expelled,” Wu said. “We didn’t ask SJS if it would help but we just did it.”

-Robert Parker

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