Student pleads guilty to distribution of marijuana

A freshman who was arrested on charges that he received a package containing marijuana via DHL shipping in January pled guilty Thursday to two criminal counts of possession with intent to distribute.

The student, Sriram Prakash, originally told The Hatchet that he was being falsely accused. Prakash would not comment on his plea last week and referred comment to his attorney.

G. Allen Dale, Prakash’s lawyer, said he filed to have the student’s record expunged of his convictions because he is a teenager. He would not comment further on the student’s behavior but said he has already paid a fine as a result of his plea agreement.

Prakash faces up to 280 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000 for the first charge, and up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $100 for the second charge, said Channing Phillips, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. The sentence will be determined at a later D.C. Superior Court hearing.

Prakash was arrested Jan. 25 outside the Mail and Package Services center after Maryland law enforcement officers launched a sting operation with the Metropolitan Police Department and the University Police Department. A canine officer smelled marijuana in the package while it was in a shipping facility outside D.C. After picking up the package containing an illegal drug, officers found a digital pocket scale, a box of small Ziploc bags, a foil container and $400 in cash on the student, according to an MPD report.

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