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Residents: Drug busts no surprise

BY MORGAN OLSEN | APRIL 22, 2010 7:30 AM

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For University of Iowa students living on the east third and fourth floors of Currier, Monday night’s drug bust came as no surprise.

“We were all friends; we hung out together,” said UI freshman Anthony Walsh, whose room was searched, though nothing was found. “After thinking about it, we should’ve seen it coming — it was easy to see what was going on.”

Those who lived among the alleged drug users described the group as a clique.

“A lot of them were good friends,” said UI freshman Jake Deutmeyer. “They were all really nice guys. It sucks that it had to go down like this, but it is the law.”

On Monday night, 12 UI students were arrested in Currier and Mayflower in what officials say was the biggest on-campus drug bust in recent history. Charges included possession of marijuana and prescription drugs, possession with intent to distribute, and criminal mischief.

UI sophomore Nicholas Wilson, who was arrested Monday on a felony charge, said he is friends with several of the other students who were caught on the third floor but didn’t know the two students arrested in Mayflower.

Shawn Morgan, a UI police investigator, said the case remains open and confirmed some of the arrests were connected, but the Currier and Mayflower arrests were unrelated.

And students say there were more people involved.

“A lot of people on this wing smoke,” said UI freshman Joe Kunzler. “The police missed some people, if you know what I’m saying.”

Wilson said several students involved are in the process of moving out because it was their second or third offenses. It was Wilson’s first criminal charge, and he said he didn’t know what his fate would be. He will sit down with UI officials today to discuss the incident.

UI officials couldn’t confirm any students were moving out.

While Dean of Students David Grady can’t discuss specific student records, he said he or a staff member will sit down individually with the students — who can share their side of the story — and review the incident.

If Grady or his staff find the student violated the Code of Student Life, officials could impose interim sanctions such as moving residence halls. Suspension or expulsion are also options.

“These procedures are in place to ensure all students get to explain themselves and get due process,” Grady said.

Some residents of Currier said they were surprised by the arrests.

“We knew people did it; it wasn’t uncommon,” said Deutmeyer. “I wasn’t surprised they got caught, but I was really surprised that this many people got arrested.”

As of Wednesday night, none of the 12 students who were arrested were still in jail.

The last large-scale drug seizure occurred in December 2007, when police raided the rooms of four UI fraternity brothers in Delta Upsilon, resulting in drug charges.

Although not to the magnitude of Monday night’s incident, the chapter was closed a month later because of “serious violations of fraternity and university policies.”

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