MPD arrests freshman for allegedly receiving shipment of marijuana

Freshman Sriram Prakash was arrested outside the GW Package Services Center Thursday afternoon for picking up a box containing four bags of marijuana, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.

MPD arrested Prakash on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and transported him to the Second District headquarters for processing, the police report stated.

The report provided the following account: A canine officer inside a DHL shipping facility in Rockville, Md., alerted its handler to the package Prakash picked up on campus. Local law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant and opened the package, which contained four bags of marijuana. The Maryland officers contacted the University Police Department, which in turn contacted MPD to arrest the 18-year-old student at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, after he had signed for the package.

In a search of Prakash’s personal property during the arrest, MPD officers found a digital pocket scale, a box of small Ziploc bags, a foil container and $400 in cash, among other items, according to the police report.

Prakash told The Hatchet that he went to the package center to pick up a box of clothing and medication sent by his mother but also had an unknown parcel awaiting him. He said he was wrongfully arrested for taking the second package, for which he said he neither knew its contents nor its sender.

“I think it was completely unfair,” Prakash said in a telephone interview Saturday. “I went up to Package Services to pick up the package from my mom … As soon as I picked it up, I took two steps and I was arrested.”

Prakash said he allowed police officers to open the box from his mother, but that they did not open the package allegedly containing marijuana in his presence.

The MPD report had no mention of a second package found at the time of the arrest.

When asked about the amount of time he may have spent in jail, Prakash declined to comment and terminated the interview.

Another student present during the arrest was questioned heavily by the police, but was not arrested. He refused to provide The Hatchet with his name at the scene.

This is at least the fourth incident this school year in which a GW underclassman has been charged for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Student Judicial Services Director Tara Woolfson previously told The Hatchet that students found guilty of such charges likely face harsh consequences such as suspension or expulsion.

-David Ceasar and Kaitlyn Jahrling contributed to this report.

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