Cornell Student Arrested with $150K in heroin

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 tips@ivygateblog.com.

(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.

  • former Ivy editor

    Nice disclosure–excuse me while I “defer” from sharing an opinion right before I share an opinion. Huh? What in the world is going on up there at the Sun—did they remove a member of their board quietly so she wouldn’t be in a prominent position when this happened? If you can’t write about that, why are you the one writing this story at all?

  • Harvard ’13

    She looks like a serious meth head. Also, why in the world is she still in undergrad at 26 yrs old?
    This all just goes to prove that Cornell seriously does not deserve to be an ivy.

    • Dkd225

      damn such original thoughts…

    • Dr.J2012

      Oh really? Cornell doesn’t deserve to be an ivy? Why? Is it because she’s an individual student allegedly in connection to selling drugs or because she’s a 26 year-old undergrad? Because I’m sure that there are or have been both such instances at your beloved Harvard. It’s people like you who give Harvard the reputation of being composed of pompous self-serving students who use their inflated grades to augment their already over-inflated egos.

    • Onthepark1

      She still has Obamacare because she is 26. Maybe that will help.

    • You’re a winner!

      Harvard ’13, that comment wasn’t worthy of an ivy leaguer, frankly. What does a 26 year old undergraduate have to do with the institution he/she is attending? How is it relevant at all? I could have graduated high school, taken 3 years off, and gone back to school. If she’s a trust fund baby, it would make that scenario even easier. If you’re not riding on your legacy, please, for the love of God, use your head!

      • Gorges

        and if you are you dont have to!? im so ashamed i went to school with the kind of people who write on these comment walls. must not be enough going on in the classrooms these days…

        • You’re a winner!

          Yes Gorges, that’s exactly what I’m implying…

          Harvard ’13 made a pretty big assumption with the student’s age, then took that same assumption and applied it to this girl’s enrollment eligibility at an ivy league school. I figure, if people can make assumption about a person’s worth and their eligibility for enrollment at a top rated university, I can make my own assumptions about the majority of students already in attendance at those same ivy league schools.

    • Rastusthigpen

      Yo! Sophosmoros-when school reopens after the new year can you call the AD and ask when and why they decided to stop listing the birthdates of the varsity hockey players on the website. Most schools include that as a basic point of info for all athletes, but Harvard no longer does it. We know Harvard always has a better way of doing things, so we’d like to know why. Could be a teaching moment for us. Some of these “student athletes” spend 2,3 4 years in semi-pro hockey before realizing that they are intellectuals that really belong at Harvard. Sort of happens around the time they realize they aren’t going to make it to the NHL. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but that would make them how old when they graduate? You go to Harvard, so I’ll leave the math to you. And after that would you check into that fatal shooting that happened in the Harvard dorm a year or two ago and let us know how it was all resolved? Some ho, (er, excuse me, a pert Harvard coed), had a boyfriend from her old hood who was a dealer. He came up to visit her, probably to attend some seminar on deconstructionism or social entrepreneurship or something, and some local friend of hers who was also a dealer got shot by her old chum from the hood. Shot to death. Shot to death in her dorm. I guess Cornell doesn’t belong in the Ivy league because when one of their little snots decides they be a gangsta and starts dealing, they don’t do it right-no bodies fall. Harvard being Harvard, they do things right. Boom, boom-out go the lights. Right in the dorm. Gotta stay #1. Please post the results of your research right here so we can all see.

  • http://twitter.com/FGFM FGFM

    Seven years of college down the drain.

  • Class of ’10

    I wonder how many hard working, qualified and non-junkie students were rejected from Cornell in place of this moron who couldn’t even find the time/motivation to complete an ENGLISH degree in 4 years.

    • math

      umm…. i’m going to guess just one.

  • slo coast

    Now she won’t be able to pay back those student loans…

  • Realist

    @Harvard ’13, Your awful logic just proves you don’t deserve to be at Harvard.

  • http://bannedchatter.blogspot.com BannedChatter

    I agree; the writing has been on the wall for quite a while………the suicides and then……..this “Ivy League” smack-head. Cornell students are dregs and wannabees in the Ivy League. I think it would be better for the students if they knew they were attending “the top” Big East school instead of the “weakest and most marginal Ivy”. Look at the girl’s face!!!! (Oh, the humanity!). For the sake of humanity, get Cornell out of the Ivy League.

  • http://bannedchatter.blogspot.com BannedChatter

    I agree; the writing has been on the wall for quite a while………the suicides and then……..this “Ivy League” smack-head. Cornell students are dregs and wannabees in the Ivy League. I think it would be better for the students if they knew they were attending “the top” Big East school instead of the “weakest and most marginal Ivy”. Look at the girl’s face!!!! (Oh, the humanity!). For the sake of humanity, get Cornell out of the Ivy League.

    • P ’13

      @BannedChatter, if you are indeed in the Ivy League you deserve to be put out for your moronic comment. Suicides happen everywhere, and at Cornell the per capita suicide rate is completely average. Second, why does this girl’s actions reflect on the entire student body at Cornell? Are Columbia, Brown, and Georgetown students complete louts because their campuses have witnessed recent drug busts? I think not. For the sake of humanity (you used the word twice by the way), stop being such a douche.

      • why is it so easy to troll people on IvyGate?

    • Weaselspleen

      Best watch out Cornell, or they be siccin’ Alexander Pring-Wilson on yo’ asses.

      Stay classy, Hahhvahhd, stay classy.

    • HarvardSucks345

      Let’s throw out Harvard and Yale for all the self-absorbed bullshit artists you send to Washington and Wall Street that have thoroughly destroyed this country.

      • Harvard’11

        But that’s the paragon of the Ivy League! Bullshit your way to tons of money while screwing everyone else over. We should commend Harvard and Yale for their talent!

  • Realist

    It could easily happen to anyone who has a large quantity of heroin.

  • Realist

    It could easily happen to anyone who has a large quantity of heroin.

  • JR from Dallas

    Busted in the parking lot at the Hillside Inn… I’m surprised the IPD geniuses could weed her out of all the cheap hookers.

  • Elm2006

    Everyone is assuming she has been an undergrad since she was 18. She may have gone to prep school for a couple years, took time off, or worked first. Even the Ivy League has non-tradional students.

    • Matt Rivers

      Her facebook lists her as graduating high school in 2002 and also lists Rutgers under College…

    • cornell_221

      I knew her. She had a serious back injury that kept her out of school for a long time.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a direct descendent of the founder of Harvard. My family went to Harvard until the 1820s, when they abandoned corrupt New England for the vitality of the west. My mom’s side of the family was in Oregon by 1842, my father’s arrived after returning Southern soldiers ran them out of Missouri after the Civil War. Harvard is now for Jews and their affirmative action fellow travelers. If you want vitality and excellence you must look elsewhere. That woman with the heroin? Who cares. In a real society the cops would have fixed her a huge dose, handed her the syringe, and held a gun at her head until she injected it. She’ll be a problem for the honest citizen all her life. Better she’s dead in the bathtub. Call her parents and say “come pick up this piece of crap.”

    • Deanna

      Thanks for sharing your fascinating genealogical history; it is so pertinent to this story! “The original found of Harvard” must be damn proud of you and your asinine antisemitism.

    • You’re a winner!

      My name is Zowi James-Bernard VI and I am a direct descendant of Dr. Zelie James-Bernard, President of the First Nigerian National Bank. In my possession, I have $50 million which I need you to hold on to for safe keeping because the Nigerian government has grown very unstable recently…really Zidar?

  • Jameskehaya

    Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, EB White, Alice Fulton, Pearl S. Buck. All Cornell English. Say what you want about this girl, but Cornell’s English department has always been top tier.

    • guest

      actually kurt vonnegut majored in chemistry while at cornell

      • Guest

        and i’m sure he never took an English class while there…

    • CU’10

      And Pynchon was in Applied Physics, and Nabokov wasn’t a student and Morrison was MFA, so actually the English department hasn’t really supplied all that much, haha.

      • Ruggles

        Pynchon switched from engineering to English after he left Cornell for a few years to sing parodic showtunes in the Navy. A-and why is that graduate students and teachers are somehow not counted as part of the department? Weird. But really who fucking cares.

  • harvgrad_butwhocares

    If true she had a back injury, pain killers could have led next to Heroin. She looks to be a mess….perhaps, just maybe, she can get some help and beat this horrible addiction before it kills her. Seems like she’s gonna be spending a good deal of time in jail and hopefully will have the opportunity to clean up. I wish her well. Drug addiction is a horrible thing…

  • Dartmouth ’09 math major

    Something doesn’t add up: $150,000 worth, divided by 500 doses uncut, = $300/dose? No way José.

  • keno

    As you seem to have foregone any realistic fact-checking and other journalistic nuisances i decided to help you out.

    Here is the actual police report.
    http://www.ci.ithaca.ny.us/vertical/Sites/%7B5DCEB23D-5BF8-4AFF-806D-68E7C14DEB0D%7D/uploads/%7B7C018C45-F9F6-4F7C-AC14-CDBDDF3DE2D4%7D.PDF

    To make your life even easier i am pasting the relevant quote.

    “Officers seized over five ounces of heroin, having an approximate street value of $50,000 to $100,000 dollars, and took Ms. Blakinger into custody”

    Even those numbers seems wildly exaggerated.
    The actual value is probably barely approaching 30K based on the street price of about $170 per gram. Considering that it was likely already cut the heroin content in that 5oz was maybe half. All of a sudden the real number is probably closer to $15K.

    There are other more interesting sides to this story like the fact that she was a national figure skater.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_United_States_Figure_Skating_Championships

    Or perhaps you can write about the horrendous quality of reporting that can be witnessed in nationally recognized media outlets. Does the term fact-checking mean anything at all?

  • tcpost

    First off, I am embarrassed at some of my fellow Harvard students and/or alum for making such rash generalization. To make assumptions about a school or body of students based on the actions or even the appearance of one person is absolutely moronic. Furthermore, to address the recent Cornell suicides in any manner other than sympathy for the families and friends of those lost is callous.

    I hope that this girl can benefit from this experience by getting clean and and coming back into society rehabilitated. She obviously has great academic potential given the high pedigree of school she attends and I hope that she can someday make the best of it.

  • IsGorges

    She was a figure skater who then suffered a serious injury. Explains the non-traditional school age and also gives a window into her possible pathway to addiction. Hope she gets some help now.

  • 0002

    Blakinger as figure skater:

    http://photography.ice-dance.com/1999-2002-seasons/00USNats/LMP/00USN-NovPF-0321-BL-MW.jpg.php

    Also, according to the Ithaca Journal, she survived a suicide attempt off of the Stewart Ave bridge in 2007. She’s obviously a troubled person and needs help, first with her addiction, and then with what are perhaps mental and physical problems related to her skating career.

  • tt503

    I ran into this girl once on the TCAT (I wasn’t sure she was a student, because from her picture, you can tell that she’s older and somewhat disheveled-looking …) , when she was talking loudly on her cell phone about sexual acts she’s performed and the amount of drugs that she was using at the time (and what she’s used in the past). She was obviously very troubled then, and I’m glad that she might be in a place to get the help she needs.

  • Salem

    What Peter fails to mention here is that he worked closely with Keri for a couple years at the Daily Sun, during which time he clearly didn’t get to know her very well. It’s sad when a recent grad bored in his day job will stoop to any level just to gain some ‘hits’ of the online reader variety. This only proves true the stereotype that anyone born on Long Island east of JFK is probably a complete douchebag who will sell out his friends for (extraordinarily) minor fame.

    • Anonymous

      From the bottom of the post:

      “Full disclosure: I worked with Blakinger at The Cornell Daily Sun.”

    • Witchtrials

      wow. this only proves true the stereotype that anyone who lacks the ability to read an entire post will spout off and try to bad mouth others in a self righteous manner.

  • 0003

    0002 has it right. she is the one who survived the jump in 2007. the school/media do not want you to know this.