Dorm investigation leads to charges

Dorm investigation leads to charges

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 1:00am

UPDATED: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 1:04am

Five Mt. Union University students face charges after a two week undercover investigation by Alliance narcotics detectives.

Lt. John Jenkins of the Alliance Police department said the arrests follow an investigation during which "numerous" drug purchases were made by a confidential informant from a dorm room at McCreedy Hall.

The investigation led to the arrest of Victor Schade, 18, who is charged with trafficking in marijuana, a felony, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana, both of which are misdemeanors.

On Twitter Thursday, Schade described the day as his "worst day so far," adding, "you dont even realize how much trouble i'm in" (sic).

Jenkins said the charges are elevated because of the proximity to campus.

In the room, Jenkins said officers discovered, "marijuana packaged for sale, scales used to weigh the marijuana, baggies to package it. There were softener sheets that were being used to wrap the baggies in to try and mask the scent, numerous paraphernalia like that and some cash."

Jenkins said the investigation led them to another room in the same dorm.

"From the one room we executed the search warrant on, he was selling individual cigar blunts that were filled with marijuana for ten dollars a piece. We did find 44 of those that he still had in his room, he sold some because he had cash, another one of the rooms we found seven baggies of marijuana and they had already sold several," said Jenkins.

Police also arrested Blake Miller, 18, Travis Infield, 19, and Jonathan Delapa, 18, all of whom are also residents of McCreedy Hall.

Jenkins said officers caught up with Miller and Infield at baseball practice for the Mt. Union team.

Infield's record as a pitcher shows that he pitched in one game during the last season. Their bios were not on the team's online roster on Thursday.

Also arrested was Wyatt Grindley, 18, who was staying in Cunningham Hall and charged him with two misdemeanors.

Police said Grindley was found to have marijuana and a marijuana pipe and was taken to Alliance Community Hospital after he became ill while being interviewed by police.

The University released a statement from Michelle Gaffney, Associate Dean of Students, on Thursday that read:

"Young people make mistakes in all facets of society. Hopefully they learn from those mistakes and move on to future success. There is no place in our academic community for the use and/or sale of illegal substances. I would say that drug offenses are not a common occurrence here at the University. However, when such offenses do occur in our campus community, those matters are taken very seriously and dealt with in accordance with the University policies and procedures and in collaboration with local law enforcement. The University offers many activities and events to inform and educate students about the proper and responsible use of alcohol as well as the problems and consequences associated with the use of illegal and controlled substances. While the university will not and cannot comment on individual student circumstances, the following standard, as outlined in the student handbook, applies for all situations."

Students who watched police conducting their search of the dormitories on Wednesday said they were surprised.

"We didn't know what it was at first and when we heard about it, it was different cause living so close to them, and like knowing the people, you wouldn't expect it," said Gabriella Pishotti.

"It kind of seems like there are good kids around here, doesn't seem like there are troublemakers here, so yeah, to a certain extent it does surprise me," said Michael Ranalli.

Many students on Thursday were aware of the arrests and hoped it would not give the school a bad reputation.

"There are like a ton of good students who are focused on academics and socially they know how to behave," said Kate O'Neil.

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