Arrests increase for intent to sell drugs

Metropolitan Police officers arrested a student Friday for possession with intent to sell marijuana and possession of LSD – the sixth arrest for intent to distribute drugs this academic year.

Officers seized seven Ziploc bags of marijuana, a personal supply of LSD and $687 in cash from a Guthridge Hall room at about 3:48 a.m., according to police documents. They also discovered a black and silver scale, as well as empty Ziploc bags and freezer lock bags in 19-year-old Connor O’Neill’s room. He said Thursday that he did not face charges.

Six of the seven students arrested for drugs in the first month of school were busted for intent to distribute, University Police Chief Kevin Hay said. During the same period last year, just one student out of the five drug arrests was busted for intent to sell, he said.

This year’s busts also uncovered harder drugs.

Two students were found with cocaine and ecstasy in Munson Hall Aug. 31. The other three students this year were arrested for marijuana, and two were charged with intent to sell. MPD also arrested a former student Sept. 20 for possession with intent to sell heroin and amphetamines, and for having an unregistered rifle and ammunition.

Last year, four of the five arrests in the first month of classes involved marijuana at parks near campus. The student arrested for intent to distribute was found in Mitchell Hall.

Hay said though the number of arrests has increased, he does not consider it unusual, because there has been “less than one resident arrested for every thousand students” living on campus.

Students are increasingly alerting UPD of their neighbors’ alleged drug use, Hay said, adding that students report seeing smoke or smelling marijuana in hallways or complain of loud music.

“Some students take offense to drug use happening in their residence halls. They don’t want to be around it, and the students call GWPD,” Hay said. “As these cases are reported, we will take action.”

Officers patrolling residence halls also look out for smoke and odor, he said, but the force is not adjusting protocol as a result of the recent arrests.

Gabriel Slifka, director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said most students who are suspended or expelled are caught with “illegal drugs, such as cocaine, MDMA, hallucinogens, the possession of marijuana in significant quantities or multiple violations of the University’s drug policies.”

Thirteen drug arrests were made in 2010 on the Foggy Bottom Campus, according to UPD data filed with the Department of Education, compared to the seven reported in the past month. UPD must report statistics for the 2011 calendar year to the department next month.

Slifka said the majority of drug violations on campus are for small quantities of marijuana and would not typically result in suspension or expulsion “unless there are particular aggravating circumstances such as the distribution of marijuana to other individuals.”

The office took an education-based turn this year, outlining consequences for drug violations in a flow chart. Students who receive violations for illegal drugs must complete substance abuse education, and first-time drug users could earn an administrative record and a $50 fine.

Slifka said the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act barred him from releasing what disciplinary actions the office handed out for arrested students.

This article was updated Sept. 27, 2012 at 5:33 p.m. to reflect new information that was provided after publication.

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