Patterico's Pontifications


High on College

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 12:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Back in my college days, the biggest problems we had were hazing, hippies, protests, and pot. Greek life was especially tame, although it certainly had its share of hazing and alcohol. At today’s colleges, however, a few students have chosen more lucrative enterprises:

“The undercover officers started to appear at San Diego State fraternity parties about six months ago. They dressed like students, complained about their parents and professors, and talked freely and knowingly of things of great interest on campus: music, sex and drugs.

Soon they were accepted, with no questions asked. They were spotted at student hangouts on and off campus. They swapped cellphone numbers with other partygoers. They text-messaged their newfound friends.

The real students appeared to accept the pretend ones — most but not all of whom were men. On a campus of 34,000 students, blending into the crowd was not difficult. Neither was collecting evidence of drug dealing and drug use.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that 96 young men — including 75 students — had been arrested on a variety of drug charges as a result of Operation Sudden Fall, which infiltrated seven fraternities on Fraternity Row and Fraternity Circle. Officials said the name of the operation referred to the prospect of sudden death from drug usage.

The investigation involved marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and Ecstasy.”

One student asked officers if his arrest would hurt his chances to become a law enforcement officer some day.

The operation was planned following the drug overdose deaths of two students. Drug legalization groups objected to the use of DEA and police officers to target college students instead of large-scale drug traffickers, but the University’s President expressed no regret for letting undercover agents on campus.


42 Responses to “High on College”

  1. This might have the proverbial “chilling effect” on campus drug trade for a while.

    Not a bad result, it seems to me.

    vnjagvet (d3d48a)

  2. One student asked officers if his arrest would hurt his chances to become a law enforcement officer some day.

    Well, there is always New Orleans PD …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. The article omits the most important question — did the undercover cops get to hook up with college coeds as part of their cover?

    JVW (835f28)

  4. Why are people such morons that they failed to learn basic lessons from prohibition back in the 1920s and 1930s? There are excellent reasons why alcohol is now a legal drug.

    Federal Dog (1404a2)

  5. Someone in the upper brass at the SDPD got a DVD box set of 21 Jump Street for their birthday…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  6. I wonder what this is going to do to SDSU’s Party-School rating?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  7. Herc was right. These white boys are easy to bust. We’ll be hoisting a few tonight in celebration.

    Jimmy McNulty (6cb6d5)

  8. Are men the only ones making these life-changing mistakes while in college?

    Here are their mugs:

    steve (157b42)

  9. #7 that law enforcement wannabe druggie would fit right in with your Baltimore PD too. Lucky you being able to avoid prosecution as the corrupt liberal city govt. made silk purses out of sows’ ears. In reality- ain’t America great when a convicted murderer in real life can star in an HBO classic series?

    I agree with Steppenwolf- God Dam* the pusher man. Those nations that make drug dealing a capital offense at least have no recidivism. Prohibition here was great; it made Joe Kennedy Rich and feathered the Chicago Crime moguls’ nests.

    madmax333 (cdab69)

  10. One student asked officers if his arrest would hurt his chances to become a law enforcement officer some day.

    Perhaps, but he’s got a good shot at becoming Mayor of Washington, D.C., with these credentials.

    Steverino (d6232c)

  11. Prohibition here was great; it made Joe Kennedy Rich and feathered the Chicago Crime moguls’ nests.

    Not to mention the careers of Charlie Parker, Count Basie and ‘Hi-De-Ho’ Cab Calloway.

    steve (0550f1)

  12. Thanks Steve (#8). That list was interesting. I only counted five guys who were identified as being affiliated with SDSU fraternities. Were there more, or did the media just overplay the fraternity angle because it sounded so sexy?

    JVW (835f28)

  13. Federal Dog:

    There are excellent reasons why alcohol is now a legal drug.

    which don’t apply to other drugs.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  14. JVW, Can’t say why so few names contained cross-references to fraternities. Theta Chi, Phi Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi were raided. Four Phi Kappa Psi brothers were charged.

    steve (14d32e)

  15. “Well, there is always New Orleans PD …”

    Haw haw haw! OH man you don know the HALF of it…no, maybe you do….. Lotta good cops in NOLA actually (like my neighbor, great guy) the really bad ones get fired so they go over to Kenner across the river.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  16. Perhaps you recall, EdWood, that New Orleans PD was in the news awhile back for hiring felons to meet their federally mandated recruiting goals.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Yah, let’s bust ALL the college druggies! When good little suburban white Timmie and Tracy who were gonna be lawyers and doctors etc. start having to pay fines for possession or do time(yah right) for selling weed out their dorm room on the HUGE scale that busts all over the country would be, the citizens of the USA will get to take another look at how wedded they are to the war on pot …uh drugs…. from the perspective of the set who get arrested as opposed to the set where typically a blind eye is turned.
    When we are done with then we can go after all public servants and politicians who are drug users to huh? When do we bust all the druggies up in Harvard, Yale law school, and Cornell? How bout infiltrating the Heritage Foundation? Or even better the ACLU? (pant pant…) yah ok rant over….

    EdWood (06cafa)

  18. I understand your hyperbole to prove a point, EdWood, but this was prompted by the deaths of two students so it’s not a victimless crime.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  19. As a proud college drop out, I must admit that this news put a smile on my face. I really hate college kids. Mom and dad spent good money to send their precious kids to school. Now they’re gonna be spending good money on lawyers. HA!

    PDizzle (cb6b9b)

  20. only 18 of the 96 arrested were dealers. what do you want to bet most of the other 78 were just marijuana smokers/nondealers? now that is a victimless crime.

    assistant devil's advocate (4a7b3f)

  21. It’s unlikely the remainder were marijuana smokers, since simple possession (eg, not possession with intent to distribute) is a low-value misdemeanor, basically not worth most police departments’ time, unless it’s linked with some other activity.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  22. “prompted by the deaths of two students”

    DRJ, As a doper and drinker in my later college years and beyond I was still APPALLED at how drugs, particularly alcohol, were used by other students (and beyond students) as some sort of test of how much poison someone could put into their system and not die… or as a way to show you were a good ol boy by getting puking drunk and suffering with your buddies.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  23. Let’s see how many of these white-boy small time dealers putting their way through school cop a plea and turn in their distributors.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  24. Aphrael, unless the point was to arrest a lot of people and bundle them off to jail in order to get the Greek and non Greek parties to calm the heck down.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  25. If that was the point, it probably worked.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  26. EdWood: even then, the penalty for possession of marijuana in California doesn’t carry jail time.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  27. Poessession of less than 1 oz of pot is a violation of 11357(b) H&S (Health and Safety Code) and is subject to fine only. No jail time for less than an ounce.

    patrick (a8c3ea)

  28. nk can correct me, but I believe in IL that drug possession on the grounds of a school is a felony…

    Meaning that joint coud get you some serious jail time…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  29. Scott Jacobs: perhaps; but this took place in San Diego, so CA law would apply. :)

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  30. Yeah, I could see California courts trying to apply their laws to Illinois, but not vice-versa.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  31. Scott #28,

    Delivery on or near school grounds enhances the offenses by one degree but they are still based on amount. So where delivery of a single marijuana cigarette was a Class B misdemeanor, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor; and where delivery of a pound was a Class 3 felony, it becomes a Class 2 felony.*

    Delivery to a minor is more serious — it doubles the sentence.

    *With our new smoking ban, lighting a tobacco cigarette on campus might be punished more severely than lighting a joint. 😉

    nk (1e7806)

  32. Who says College Students aren’t major drug traffickers?

    NK, Tobacco bad, not PC. Pot good. Is medicine. Or didn’t you get EdWood’s “Green Tea smoke” cloud?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  33. I should have known the latter point would be the case. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil cigarettes, wonderful happy-pot!

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  34. When the college drug activity is being taken over by the Mexican Mafia, it’s time to bring it to a halt. Those students don’t know what they’re getting into.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  35. The media absolutely took unfair shots at “frat’s” and greek life in general. As already said, there are less than 15 greek members who were arrested by DEA. So let’s just say that it’s 15 people (over estimate)….out of approximately 2,000 people (under estimate in the greek system. That comes out to .75% of the greek community. Yet nearly every article is labeling fraternities as drug dealers and gang members. I do agree that this will ultimately help our community and university, but the blame needs to be shifted away from greek life.

    Joey (c54e5b)

  36. SPQR #16
    Ah…. you do know more than the half of it.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  37. XRLQ: wait, there are jurisdictions other than California? 😛

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  38. 35, Joey, If the frats weren’t constantly in trouble for being “Animal Houses”, they wouldn’t have to worry about being tarred as Drug Houses.

    Frats, clean up your act. You’ve had ample warnings and “Double Secret Probations”. It is not anyone’s fault but yours for not getting the message.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  39. Man, PCD, what a wet-blanket; expecting responsible, mature adults to act like same –
    but, then again, we are talking about Greeks, aren’t we?
    What is this world coming to?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  40. AD, yeah, I traded burning down frat houses for being mature.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  41. PCD’s comment reminded me –

    The kids should be grateful that it was local cops and not BATF. The whole of frat row would be a smoking ruin by now.

    bud (994954)

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