Three more students charged in drug raid

Editor’s note:
In September 2010, a judge dismissed Russell Dubin’s case because it lacked evidence to move forward.

Three more GW students are facing charges stemming from an October drug raid at a Foggy Bottom townhouse, and now all five students arrested that evening are co-defendants in the case.

Seniors Dennis Perales, Jared Cobert and Russell Dubin have all pleaded not guilty to the separate drug charges, joining seniors James Donoghue and Brett Reisman who pled not guilty Oct. 31. All five defendants are scheduled to appear before Judge Florence Pan in D.C. Superior Court Dec. 14.

Perales, 21, was arrested during the Oct. 30 raid for possession of cocaine. He was arraigned Nov. 19 and faces one charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Both Dubin, 21, and Cobert, also 21, have been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They were arraigned Dec. 1.

Donoghue, 20, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Reisman, 21, has been charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

During the raid at the townhouse at 26th and I streets, police seized $1,171 in cash, three plastic bags of a substance suspected to be cocaine, about 160 grams of marijuana, a scale, and plastic baggies, according to police reports and court documents. Court filings stated officers also confiscated a gray safe, a ledger, multiple pipes, cell phones, and IDs.

A search warrant filed in D.C. Superior Court stated that a Metropolitan Police Department officer had probable cause to believe there was marijuana and other narcotics at the property, along with “records relating to narcotics distribution.”

Christopher Casey, Reisman’s attorney, said last month that his client’s charges “did not stem from the items” found in one of the closets. The items – the safe with 160 grams of marijuana, scale, $930 cash, and ledger book – were not in Reisman’s room, Casey said. Casey said it was his understanding that the safe was located in the closet of “bedroom 1,” which he said was Donoghue’s. According to a court document, a wallet with multiple IDs for Donoghue was found in bedroom 1.

Gregory Lattimer, Cobert’s attorney, said Friday that he does not believe there is any credible evidence of wrongdoing on Cobert’s part. Since the raid, Cobert has moved out of the townhouse, Lattimer confirmed, saying because of his living arrangements he was “caught in this net.”

“That was an environment he did not wish to be in,” Lattimer said.

“I’m very confident when the evidence is in it will be clear that he had nothing to do with any wrongdoing,” Lattimer said of Cobert.

On Nov. 6 – before charges had been levied – Dubin’s attorney, Howard Katzoff, said in an e-mail that Dubin was not involved in any drug dealing.

“The target of the search and investigation was from the other unit [in the townhouse] – not my client’s… All evidence relating to suspected drug dealing activities came from the other unit – not my client’s,” Katzoff said.

Dubin was also listed in court filings as living at a different location than the townhouse – the same address as Cobert’s new residence – but Katzoff could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

David Benowitz, the attorney for Perales, declined to comment on the case Friday.

Perales, Cobert, and Dubin also declined to comment Friday. Reisman and Donoghue did not return requests for comment for this article, and Brian Shaughgnessy, Donoghue’s attorney, also did not return a request for comment over the weekend.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.