Cornell just one-upped Columbia and Brown – and then some – while the Ithaca Police Department showed everyone you don’t need task forces and absurd monikers like “Operation Ivy League” to wrangle in an obscene quantity of narcotics.
26-year-old Cornell senior Keri Blakinger was arrested in possession of more than six ounces – or $150,000 dollars worth – of heroin, according to the Cornell Sun. Police responded to a report of suspicious activity in Collegetown, and found Blakinger in the parking lot of the Hillside Inn, a rinky-dink hotel on Stewart Ave. She was holding said smack in a plastic container, uncut and representing 500 doses of the drug. Blakinger reportedly confessed that the drugs belonged to her.
According to the Ithaca Journal:
Hotel employees and a man who resides nearby noticed suspicious activity in the parking lot around 9:30 a.m., court papers said. The resident saw a man sitting in an unfamiliar black Toyota station wagon talking on his cell phone, get out and then back into the car before driving off. He then heard a female voice outside his door, court papers said. Having just received an e-mail about suspicious people in his building, the man approached the woman, later identified as Blakinger, and asked if she knew someone who lived there. The woman said she knew one resident and was aware that two laptops had been stolen from the residence, court papers said.
And yet the bust was only the second largest since 2008, reinforcing stereotype that all of New York upstate of Westchester is meth country.
In early 2009, the Ithaca police raided an apartment in Collegetown where Blakinger’s boyfriend was allegedly living. The Ithaca SWAT team was called in to bust what was reported to be a drug den at the location, although Blakinger’s name appears nowhere in any reports of the incident we can find. According to a Cornell Sun article, the raid was targeting heroin, and cash and scales were retrieved, although no arrests were made.
In addition, an anonymous tipster who lived in the same apartment building as Blakinger this year reported finding syringes in or near the premises on several occasions and suspected that Blakinger was the source. The tipster also said that strangers were often found knocking on Blakinger’s door at odd hours, allegedly for transactions; before going on to say that the landlord had allegedly received complaints about suspicious behavior but failed to take any action.
We’ll keep reporting the story as more information filters in. If you have any info to dish, please hit is up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Full disclosure: I worked with Blakinger at The Cornell Daily Sun. I’ll defer from sharing my opinion of her except to say that the arrest is very sad.)
Update: This article originally said that Blakinger allegedly lived in an apartment raided by the Ithaca SWAT team in 2009. This was based on conversations at the time and my own knowledge of her links to the location. Another source believes that the actual tenant of the building was her then-boyfriend, which the text has been changed to reflect.