Holy fuck, Gossip Girl is real. The NYPD took five students from Columbia downtown in handcuffs this morning, on the grounds that they’d been operating a drug ring on campus that sold illegal substances to frats and Columbia residences.
The New York Times reports that the five students–Chris Coles, Harrison David, Adam Klein, Jose Stephan Perez (also known as Stephan Vincenzo) and Michael Wymbs–were arrested for selling nearly $11,000 in drugs to undercover police officers over the last semester. The investigation, which was (no joke) called Operation Ivy League, also rooted out a couple of hipsters in Bed-Stuy and the Village that were serving as the group’s suppliers.
The jollies of choice included cocaine, pot, ecstasy, Adderall and LSD–which, according to the NYT, came in the appetizing form of souped-up Altoids and SweetTarts. Presumably that was the first big clue that a drug ring was operating on campus, because no one on earth actually eats Altoids and SweetTarts unless they’re literally marinated in drug juice.
Wymbs who is a sophomore at Columbia’s Engineering School, apparently served as the Engineering Student Council’s veep and academic affairs rep, not to mention 2011 class vice president. and Vincenzo, meanwhile, has gotten some interesting press in the Columbia Spec Columbia’s Blue and White and Bwog in the past, and ironically just recently completed a documentary on Four Loko prohibition. (Which goes to show that Four Loko, despite being banned, remains the root of all collegiate evil.)
Most of the skeezetastic transactions went down in the dark, cold, back alleyways of three frat houses: Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) and Psi Upsilon (PsiU). The Spec has more details, plus a few shiny charts, about the charges that each student is facing and his frat affiliations (where applicable). The dealers are scheduled to appear in court this afternoon, presumably for arraignment. Keep your eye on the Spec and on DNAinfo for up-to-the-minute news.
Substance abuse is becoming the topic du jour at Columbia these days, particularly given that yesterday evening Barnard’s Student Government Association passed a resolution supporting a campus-wide smoking ban–which comes in the wake of another resolution last week by the Columbia University Senate to bar smoking within 20 feet of campus buildings.
You know, a drug bust might be just the thing that Columbia might need to get students socializing with each other. Assuming the drugs weren’t already doing the trick.
– by Peter Finocchiaro and Eve Binder