Authorities Crack Down on Campus Drug Ring

Seventy-five students among those held for possession of ecstasy and cocaine.

ByABC News
May 6, 2008, 1:11 PM

May 6, 2008— -- Police have arrested 96 people – 75 of them students – in the largest campus drug bust in the country at San Diego State University, law enforcement sources say.

Police picked up the individuals for charges stemming from possession and sales of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs, which Damon Mosler, chief of narcotics for the San Diego District Attorney's Office, estimated was worth approximately $100,000.

In addition to criminal charges, SDSU students arrested were immediately suspended from the university and evicted from all campus-managed housing, said the president of the university, Stephen Weber.

Authorities say among those arrested was a student who was a criminal justice major and was found with 500 grams of cocaine and two guns. Another suspect worked as an employee of the campus police and was one month away from graduating with a masters degree in Homeland Security.

Ralph Partridge, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency's San Diego division, said that "the sad part" was that the student graduating with a masters degree in Homeland Security asked "whether it would have an effect on [his] being a federal law enforcement officer."

As part of the investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency and San Diego State University police say they infiltrated seven fraternities on campus, finding that most or all of the members were aware of the drug dealing activity in their organizations.

Law enforcement sources gave one example of a fraternity member who sent a text message to his "faithful customers," alerting them that he and his "associates" were headed to Las Vegas for a few days and would be unavailable for transactions – but in the message he allegedly sent, he mentioned "sale" prices on cocaine.

Mosler said that such text messaging suggested a "level of sophistication" as well as the "business nature" of what the students were doing, which did not characterize typical student drug dealing. Theta Chi, the fraternity which police believe was selling cocaine, will be charged with the sale and possession of drugs and possible charges for possession of firearms.