Student arrested for Xanax, marijuana

Metropolitan Police officers arrested a Potomac House resident Tuesday for possession of dozens of prescription drug pills and multiple bags of marijuana.

A GW Housing Programs staffer found nine bags of marijuana, one ecstasy pill and 40 Xanax pills split into 10 bags in Patrick Oliphant’s room, according to Metropolitan Police Department documents. Police also found “multiple items of paraphernalia.”

His Tuesday afternoon arrest marked the ninth student caught with drugs on campus this academic year, and the sixth arrest for drugs other than marijuana. Officers arrested a City Hall resident in October for marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and the benzodiazepine drug clonazepam, after receiving an anonymous student complaint.

Gabriel Slifka, director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, said earlier this fall that more students have been reporting suspected drug usage for safety and health concerns – a trend University Police Chief Kevin Hay said then that he also observed.

In the 2011 calendar year, 21 students were arrested for drug law violations on the Foggy Bottom Campus – eight more than in 2010.

Two University Police officers reported to Oliphant’s fifth-floor room at 11:21 a.m. after receiving an anonymous tip that he had drugs, according to the documents. The officers, alongside Potomac’s housing director, used a key to enter the room when Oliphant did not respond to a knock on the door.

Oliphant complied with the officers and directed the housing director to the storage location of the drugs before exiting the room, according to the documents. The suspected marijuana tested positive for traces of THC.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine if Oliphant will face charges for intent to sell drugs, MPD public information officer Anthony Clay said.

UPD confiscated the drugs and paraphernalia. As of Sunday, D.C. Superior Court did not have a case against Oliphant.

When asked about his arrest, Oliphant said Monday that “I’m not saying I deserve to get off entirely free, I did break a school rule, but I find it quite perplexing that the university would use their resources to get a student with such a small amount in trouble, rather than go after the students distributing and moving pounds throughout campus.”

This article was updated Dec. 3, 2012 with new information.

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