The Huffington Post reports five students on the campus of Columbia University in New York City were selling LSD, marijuana and cocaine in order to pay for college. Three people not affiliated with the university were also arrested for supplying the students with the drugs.
Known as “Operation Ivy League,” undercover narcotics agents bought as much as $11,000 worth of drugs from the five alleged dealers. Most of the deals took place in dorms and fraternity houses on campus. One student was also charged with trying to kidnap two competitors who were selling cocaine.
This high-profile arrest is just one example of a drug bust at a well-known university. Here’s a sampling of three other cases comparable to Columbia University’s “Operation Ivy League.”
San Diego State University
CNN reports as many as 75 students were arrested in May 2008 on the campus of San Diego State University. Many of them were criminal justice majors and one student was charged with possessing a gun. One perpetrator was a month away from finishing a master’s degree in homeland security while working for the campus police department.
A sting operation was started by campus police after a student fatally overdosed in May 2007. When officials realized the scope of the problem, they elicited the help of federal drug agents. When authorities made the arrests, they confiscated around $60,000, in addition to drugs and some weapons.
Oregon State University
Six students were arrested in April 2008 on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis in connection with a drug trafficking ring. The arrests followed a month-long investigation into the sale of marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy.
Authorities found cocaine and around $9,000 cash between two locations where the arrests were made. Undercover officers made several purchases from the sellers which led to the arrests, according to The Daily Barometer.
SUNY Old Westbury
An underground marijuana farm was found by an electrical contractor on Long Island, according to the New York Daily News. PVC pipes supplied water for the hydroponics needed to grow the marijuana plants at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.
It was estimated the farm reached as much as 1,800 square feet and plants were in tanks the size of 10 by 60 feet and were used for different stages of the plants’ growth. At the time of the discovery in 2005, the farm had been neglected for about two years.
The high-profile case at Columbia University brings to light that even the most well-to-do and educated college students can sometimes fall victim to temptation to deal in illegal drugs. As compared to other cases, this new incident may be one of the most surprising, as these students were attending a high-level university known for its academic prowess, not party-school antics.
The Huffington Post, “Columbia Drug Bust: Five Arrested for Selling LSD, Pot, Cocaine.”
CNN, “College drug sting snags justice, security majors, scores of others.”
The Daily Barometer, “Students charged in cocaine bust.”
Williams, Laura, “Old Pot Nursery Dug Up,”New York Daily News.