Breaking: Five Students Arrested in Drug Bust, “Operation Ivy League”

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MyFoxNY is reporting that five Columbia students were arrested today for drug dealing. Undercover NYPD officers bought a variety of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and LSD, from these students. The suppliers to these students were also arrested.

This has been an ongoing drug investigation that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly dubbed “Operation Ivy League.” Since July, undercover cops have made 31 purchases of LSD, marijuana, cocaine, Adderall, and ecstasy from students in AEPi, Psi U, and Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike). DNA Info reports that Chris Coles (CC ’12), Harrison David (SEAS ’12), Adam Klein (CC ’12), Joseph Stephen Perez (aka Stephan Vincenzo, CC ’12), and Michael Wymbs (SEAS ’11) have been arrested. The police found a list of “10 agenda items” on a wall at Psi U last night, including an eleventh that read “Don’t sell drugs out of the frat house” with a note that read “Adam should have followed this rule.”

The five students’ dorm rooms were searched last night and police found a bottle of LSD, 50 MDMA capsules, 15 Adderall pills, over half a pound of marijuana and about $2,000 in cash according to the NYPD’s press release.

City Room has more on the arrests of the students’ suppliers in the East Village. According to Deputy NYPD Commissioner Paul J. Browne, one of the suppliers, Miron Sarzynski, asked one of the undercover cops to help him “kidnap and torture rival cocaine dealers.”

As a possible consequence of this, a tipster has informed us that sororities have been instructed to take down Theta + Pike posters around campus and to remove Facebook photos taken from inside fraternity houses. At 1:40 PM, a Bwogger saw a girl tearing down posters on 114th Street for the Theta/Pike event.

The NYC Office of Special Narcotics has released an official statement detailing that over $11,000 of drugs were sold to undercover officers and that the five students arrested are expected to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court later today. NYPD’s table detailing CU students and their sales and charges is reprinted after the jump.

Update, 1:10 PM: Bwog just got off the phone with Mark Williams, the nationwide Psi U representative. Psi U has no official comment, but will continue to cooperate with the University to “get to the bottom of this.”

Update, 1:40 PM: Looks like people care about this besides us. There are hundreds of Tweets about the drug bust, as well as new stories on GawkerMSNBC and the Las Vegas Sun (!)

Update, 2:45 PM: Dean Shollenberger has just sent out an email to all students concerning the drug bust. An excerpt from the email, pasted in its entirety after the jump: “The alleged behavior of the students involved in this incident goes against not only state and federal law, but also University policy and the principles we have set—and strive together to maintain—for our community. Please rest assured we are taking this matter very seriously.” Dean Shollenberger then outlines resources for drug and alcohol abuse and links to University policies on drug use. The University has no other comment at this time. Again, full email after the jump. Update update, 5:15 PM: Dean Denburg also sent to Barnard students a copy of Shollenberger’s statement, further emphasizing that “Barnard College policy fully supports New York State and federal law on the
use of controlled substances.”

Update, 3:15 PM: Anonymous witnesses report that police broke down locks in EC to arrest one of  the students in his suite early this morning.

Update, 3:30 PM: The WSJ is reporting that two of the suppliers, Miron Sarzynski and his girlfriend Megan Asper are currently being held at Riker’s Island on $250,000 and $10,000 cash bail respectively. Sarzynski is the supplier accused of asking an undercover cop to assist him in kidnapping and torturing rival cocaine dealers.

Bwog has contacted ESC for comment on Mike Wymb’s former role on the council. ESC is not providing comment at this time.

Update, 4:45 PM: The Columbia chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy has released a statement, calling today a “sad day, because the real problems related to drug use that desperately need to be addressed, were not” and the events today the result of “poor policy.” The full statement is reprinted after the jump.

Update, 5:45 PM: Bwog has received comment from Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia Law Professor currently on leave who specializes in Criminal Law, Drug Policy, and and Juvenile Justice. Fagan commented, “I would guess that (a) they have no priors and so they will get a big discount from the Court at sentencing, and the discount will be even bigger if (b) they give up what they know about the suppliers.” Fagan continued that much of their sentencing will have to do with the quality of their legal counsel. Bwog has learned that at least one of the arrested students has parents who practice law. Fagan commented that the “multiplicity of drugs they were selling” is a major strike against them. “This is way beyond an informal network of marijuana sales,” he said. Fagan noted that this will make it more difficult for the Manhattan DA to argue for the students.

We have also learned that ABC News is camped out at Manhattan Criminal Court downtown, and they report that as of 5:01 PM, the students were waiting arraignment, shackled together, some wearing Columbia fraternity sweatshirts.

Update, 5:55: Spec’s Alix Pianin reports that each of the students have pleaded not guilty. The judge has set the following bonds and bail for each:

  • Harrison David: $75,000 bond, $50,000 cash
  • Jose Stephan Perez: $30,000 bond, $20,000 cash
  • Michael Wymbs: $35,000 bond, $25,000 cash
  • Chris Coles: $40,000 bond, $25,000 cash
  • Adam Klein: $35,000 bond, $25,000 cash

Apparently Wymbs’ parents arrived at Manhattan Criminal Court with a blank check, prepared to post bail. The students who don’t post bail will head to Riker’s tonight.

Below: Early this morning, a Bwog tipster found several cop cars and what appeared to be a riot car along Frat Row at about 6:30 AM. We are waiting for confirmation from the University, but we can speculate that the arrests took place very early this morning. Pictures of the scene at about 6:40 AM below. There is currently an NY1 news truck filming on Frat Row, as well as Public Safety officers stationed on 114th Street to ensure that reporters do not enter Frat Houses without the explicit permission of fraternity members.

Sales to Undercover Officers at Columbia University
Cocaine 40 grams $1,100
MDMA 50 capsules $1,000
LSD 44 tabs $440
Marijuana 2 ½ lbs $7,900
Student Charges
Chris Coles
Intercultural House
CSCS* 5th – 2 cts.
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 1st – 1 ct.
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 3rd – 4 cts.
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 4th – 1 ct.
Criminal Nuisance 2nd – 1 ct.
Harrison David
Alpha Epsilon Pi
CSCS 2nd – 1 ct
CSCS 3rd – 1 ct
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 3rd – 6 cts.
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 4th – 2 cts.
Criminal Nuisance 1st – 1 ct.
Criminal Nuisance 2nd – 1 ct.
Adam Klein
Psi Upsilon
CSCS 5th – 2 cts.
Criminal Nuisance 2nd – 1 ct.
Jose Stephan Perez
Pi Kappa Alpha
CSCS 5th – 4 cts.
Criminal Sale of Marijuana 3rd – 1 ct.
Criminal Nuisance 2nd – 1 ct.
Michael Wymbs
East Campus Housing
CSCS 5th – 6 cts.
Criminal Nuisance 2nd – 1 ct.

*Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance

Update, 2:50 PM: Dean Shollenberger’s email to students:

Dear Students,
As you will likely hear from one another or read in the news, this morning the NYPD arrested five Columbia students in connection with an investigation into illegal drug activity. The alleged behavior of the students involved in this incident goes against not only state and federal law, but also University policy and the principles we have set—and strive together to maintain—for our community. Please rest assured we are taking this matter very seriously.
If you would like to talk, we encourage you to reach out to one of your many advisers who are available to assist you. Students who live in Columbia residence halls may also contact the associate director of their residential area directly.
Our students’ health and well-being is of our utmost concern. Should you or anyone you know need counseling or treatment related to drugs and alcohol, there are many people on campus with whom you may speak. Columbia offers a variety of programs to help members of our community who may be suffering from the effects of drug or alcohol use. Please contact Health Services for more information and support.
The University’s policies regarding drugs and alcohol are clearly described in Essential Policies for the Columbia Community . It is the University’s expectation that all students are familiar with and adhere to the policies outlined therein. If you have questions about your responsibilities as a member of the Columbia community, you may contact the Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for clarification.
Each of us, through our individual behavior and actions, helps define our campus environment. Decisions made by individuals affect the community as a whole. Please consider the potential impact of your actions on both your individual lives and the University community at-large.   Thank you for your assistance promoting a safe, honest, and responsible Columbia community.
Kevin G. Shollenberger
Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Student Life, Arts and Sciences
Dean of Student Affairs
Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Update, 4:45 PM, a statement from Katharine Celentano, Director of Media Relations for Columbia’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy:

Today is a sad day, because the real problems related to drug use that desperately need to be addressed, such as youth use and addiction, were not. The pervasive Drug War strategies like those employed today are not only in vain, but in fact create new problems – the product of poor policy, not drugs. We don’t condone the activities the 5 students were allegedly engaged in. But drugs are still around. The inability to resolve market disputes through the legal system still fuels black market violence. The trajectory of young lives with great potential are still diverted by barriers to education and scarring experiences within criminal justice system. Law enforcement still diverts valuable resources from violent crimes like rape, murder, and domestic violence, and the public health issue of drug use is still left unaddressed by evidence based, effective, sensible policies. And society and our campus still bear the additional social and economic consequences of these realities.

Bwog adds that Columbia offers resources for support: you can contact the Center for Student Advising at 212-854-6378, Counseling and Psychological Services at 212-854-2878, the Office of the University Chaplain at 212-854-1493, Nightline at 212-854-7777, or Residential Programs at 212-854-6805.

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  1. Spec  

    has listed the students & frateneties involved (yes this is a frat bust, of course - why recognize greek life again?) why can't you? this is a huge fucking deal bwog, cover it as such. its getting city wide and national media.

  2. apparently  

    undercover cops bought over 10,000 worth of the aforementioned drugs from the students over the course of the investigation.... STUNG.

  3. Anonymous  

    "joseph stephen perez" = stephan vincenzo?

  4. CSI  

    I guess those students were...
    *puts on shades*
    ...going green.

  5. namez  

    all the names are on Spec.

  6. Anonymous  

    so THAT'S where I should've gotten my drugs...

  7. GoodBYE  

    AEPi, Psi U, and Pi Kappa Alpha... you will soon be off this campus.. don't you know what happened to Beta, Fiji, etc. in the past?

  8. Anonymous

    keep tweeting bwog!

  9. Anonymous

    This is absolutely not a hot topic for gossip. Peoples' lives will be drastically affected by this and the responsibility they now hold is not simply the result of their own actions. People who have both bought and used the drugs sold by these individuals must also see that they are involved in this as well. This is a serious concern for the Columbia community at large and should be respected as such.

  10. Anonymous  

    Good thing Barnard voted to recognize Greek Life...if only the vote had come a few days later!

  11. to be fair  

    they cant eviscerate all of greek life, and no one seriously thinks that this shit only goes down in the fraternities. greeks contribute to social life in a way completely beyond proportional to their numbers. its one of the few organizations that promote a sense of campus identity and keeps us from being a sad-sack \university\ of students being home-schooled in close proximity to each other (like our lesser intelligent, hipster neighbors downtown).

    also, just because the names of the frats and students are on spec isn't a good reason to put it on bwog. if you think it's the right thing to do not to list the names, its dishonorable regardless of whether anyone else did it first. on the other hand, you're a news source and shouldntve had to rely on specs reporting for that shit, anyway.

  12. OMG!!!

    THIS SUCKS!!!!!! poor guys! the 3 I know are truly harmless individuals. I wish they had just stuck to weed! Isn't the sale of MDMA like a life sentence or something ridiculously severe? Definitely not worth it!

    • Anonymous

      LSD is what's gonna kill 'em. Carrier Medium Weight = Not worth it for $5/hit or whatever they were charging. Could've stuck to pot and made more money. Who at Columbia does acid anyway? I thought we were a bunch of Adderall tools.

      • Liz

        "LSD is what’s gonna kill ‘em." - not so. the one student who "specialized" in selling LSD was dealt the lowest charge - two counts of a class D felony and one misdemeanor.
        The others are looking at serious time.

        “like our lesser intelligent, hipster neighbors downtown”
        - really? we're not the ones who just had five students NABBED in a drug bust. at least leave it to NYU to be able to evade the cops...

  13. Anonymous  

    just deserts

  14. Anonymous  

    this is really sad news. while i certainly disagree with their actions here, these are all good guys, and it's sad that their lives are going to be ruined now by this fucked war on drugs.

    • not sad

      its stupid. these guys aren't "good guys" that something bad happened to. they serious dealers. pot is not really a big deal but LSD and coke are on another level. and asking one of your clients to kidnap and kill someone is just asking to be arrested.

      • ...  

        Everyone that bought from these guys wanted to take drugs and knew the consequences of taking them. They weren't selling to kids they weren't harming anyone. How are they bad guys?

        The person that wanted to kidnap and torture other coke dealers was not a columbia student which was made very clear by bwog. you obviously believe the crap thats been fed to you about drugs since fourth grade so I'm totally surprised your reading comprehension skills are lacking

        Its absolute BS that the police are arresting low level dealers like these students. What a waste of time and taxpayer money.

        • BS?  

          If it is bullshit to arrest low level dealers how will they get to upper level dealers? Did you stop to think that they already got to one supplier by getting these guys, because these kids are going to give up whoever sells to them in hopes for an easy sentence. Its a pretty straight forward tactic by the police and a pretty well known risk to dealers.

          • yeah  

            right. you are a fucking idiot? the reason for "Operation: Ivy League" was to get to the high level dealers and if you actually fucking read the article you will see they were successful in doing so. THat is why they waited 6 months and carried out an undercover op and didnt just bust them on day 1. seriously use your god damn brain.

          • DR ROXXXO  

            Did you read the article? They caught the supplier on OCTOBER 28TH. He turned THEM in. This wasn't about catching an upper-level dealer; it was about publicity. 5 months and hundreds of hours for 5 guys who did $10,000 in five months.

            Have you done the math? That's $2,000 a month. for five guys. $400 a month/person. I spend twice that on food, and five guys are going TO PRISON, for possibly YEARS for this? At, conservatively, $50,000/year for prison, and how much lost value to society?

            Fuck this shit.

          • don't you think

            you may have done a little too much cocaine, dr roxxo?

          • anonymous  

            I'm friend with two of the guys and am so sad at the way things have gone down, but that's $10,000 in five months just with the COPS, not total. They were doing way more than $400 per person per month.

          • manhattan da

            Thanks for posting incriminating evidence on the Internet!

      • Anonymous

        Ok, so I have a friend (he has since graduated) who used to be pretty into LSD. He used to always tell me about how his thinking in areas of philosophy, art, and math has no doubt been influenced by his times on the drug, for the direct benefit of his intellectual growth. I remember him saying he wrote a couple papers directly related to his experiences on the stuff, and if I recall correctly, they all nabbed him A's (I'm pretty sure one was basically a descriptive narrative account, a concert report I think, that omitted the crucial detail that he had been tripping balls at the time). His point was never to brag to me, but merely to point out that either this institution and the education we all receive from it is bullshit (how else could he have done so well?), or maybe there is in fact something legitimate about acid.

        I myself have never used the stuff (gave up pot for personal reasons years ago), yet it fascinates me. He admitted he wouldn't recommend doing it as often as he did, and as far as I know it's been some time since he has touched it (his words: "someday again, sure, but sometimes you just wanna have a beer and go to bed, you know?"). Yet, he maintains that every time he took it was a significant learning experience - which is, after all, why we are all here. His testimony has left me thinking it might be possible to use acid - responsibly, of course - in a way that is synergistic with one's broader educational aims.

        Cocaine? Ok, that's a different story - much more violence associated with it (whereas as far as I know acid is synthesized from easily obtainable plants). Seems kinda pointless to me, hear the comedown is long and miserable, although doubt it's all that harmful if taken once in a while. The dealer in the village sounds like a prick - take his ass down. But cocaine represented only 10% of the undercover sales by the students, and none was found in the bust. Those charges don't even specify who was dealing what - for all we know the coke could have been just one guy.

        The theory that they are pawns to get to the higher up sounds right to me. My point is that in the grand scheme of things what these students did was small time (especially considering the price they might pay). Meanwhile, other bigger drug operations, and the violence associated with them, persist (real hard drugs mind you, the kind that ruin lives, i.e. crack/meth/heroine/etc). Went for the low hanging fruit, if you ask me.

        • Anonymous  

          I don't know, I never got the whole "it helps me think" argument. I'm not trying to be close-minded or arrogant, but I can get A's pretty darn fine without needing LSD. I just find it highly dubious that a drug is the real cause for one expanding one's cognitive abilities, when so many people seem plenty capable of thinking and doing amazing things without them. I obviously can't know of the alleged benefits without trying it, but it seems like much too large a risk to take for benefits that are attainable in other manners.

  15. Anonymous

    Drugs happen in every single fraternity and every single dormitory. They have been and will most likely continue to be. These are just 5 unfortunate students that got caught. Where there is demand, supply will be created, one way or another.

    • unfortunate?  

      sorry, the consequences are pretty clear for drug dealing. it was a choice they made, this is what happens.

    • Anonymous  

      exactly, the only net results of this are thousands of precious city dollars wasted (could this money have gone to the public schools or back to the taxpayers?) and 5 promising lives ruined. Drugs will always be available and the war on drugs is really just a war on people trying to make a buck. Weed should be legal and other drugs decriminalized.

  16. Anonymous  

    buncha stoopids

  17. Anonymous  

    HAHAHHAAHAHA omg this is just too good

  18. WOW  

    finally! thats all i have to say lmao

  19. Shit.  

    Most of these are legitimately good guys. My prayers go out to them.

    • prayers?

      come on. They made the (the really stupid) choice to sell hard drugs. no sympathy here.

      if you want to pray that they learn from this and correct their choices in the future then that's much more admirable than what I'm doing and I think that's great.

      • jeez.

        do you really think that the punishment for selling drugs (which people take willingly) should be going to prison with rapists and murderers, where people learn to become even better criminals? do you think this one stupid choice should negatively affect the rest of these guys' lives, which it will?

        there is no "us" and "them." we all break the law at one time or another, and a lot of us in serious ways that could land us in prison.

    • Who  

      would you be praying to anyway? If there was a God, he wouldn't care about your shitty prayers for these nincompoops.

      • Anonymous

        Get off your high horse and have an ounce of empathy. Closed-minded, selfish people like you, so ready to deride the mistakes of others and dismiss them without even trying to understand the situation at hand as a bit more complex than your (apprently) familiar black and white, are WORSE than drug dealers like them. There is a difference between making a bad choice and being a bad person. If the punishment exceeds the crime, or is counter-productive to the well-being of society, there is a problem. In this case, the promise of bright, motivated people is at risk of being extinguished. This does not benefit society, but tears apart good people's lives. I WILL pray for these boys, who do not deserve to face the horrors of jail. I hope you all do the same.

  20. Anonymous

    this also happened at EC and the International house, where two of the arrested students live. important to give the full picture bwog.

  21. wow, harrison

    CSCS 2nd Degree = Class A-II Felony = 3 years to life

    • for real

      That's a mandatory 3 year minimum sentence if convicted.

      • they're

        probably going to give him the minimum.

        just as a question, does this mean he goes to federal prison if convicted (controlled substances act in other words?)

        • Anonymous  

          No unless federal courts pick it up. It's a state case right now and they'll probably spend some time at Rikers before posting bail. But honestly, they'll probably be plea bargained out. Most of the damage will be from the fact that their names and birthdates are being published everywhere, which can easily be found from Google.

  22. shit  

    prices are gonna go up...

  23. Anonymous  

    i'm a little curious about how this all came to light.

    This is from DNAinfo: "The drug ring came to light in part after the NYPD received multiple complaints on its CrimeStoppers hotline, officials said."

    Are students seriously writing into CrimeStoppers and complaining about other students?! it's not like you can tell there's illicit activity going on from the street so the people who snitched had to have been students. that's fucked up, especially if the snitchers were doing it due to some personal vendetta. Why ruin someone's life? makes no sense. I feel so bad for these guys. there are a lot of things I see at Columbia every single day that I think are morally reprehensible. can I get the kid in my class who cheats on all his tests arrested, please? cause at least that would help me in some way instead of just fruitlessly ruining his life. Jeeze..people are frustrating.

    • Anonymous  

      No snitching...

    • duh

      you can't get him arrested, but you can get his ass kicked out of Columbia. It would keep his dumb self from screwing up the curve and watering down the value of our diplomas when employers find out that he can't do shit.

      • Anonymous

        I'm sorry but what exactly are you implying about drug dealers? Highly racialized statement you got going on here, buddy. The way a person makes money has little to do with their intellect. They had a market. These guys capitalized. The war on drugs is a waste of money.

        • Anonymous  

          dude. what? no. you responded to a comment that was talking about someone cheating, not the guys who just got busted. read first, then respond.

          according to the new sites these guys were pretty damn smart (salutatorian, scholar, student council). i bet they contributed more to the classroom than the cheater does.

        • duh  

          As suggested above, read what I was responding to. If you know someone's cheating, go ahead and report them. They'll most likely get suspended or expelled. It pretty much has nothing to do with drug dealing, except that the person's comment was that cheaters should be arrested, which is pretty much out of the hands of the NYPD.

    • ...  

      where i'm from, snitches get stitches

  24. Anonymous

    it really saddens me that some of my classmates are laughing at this like it's some sort of joke. my heart goes out to them...

    • Alumna

      My heart goes out to the desperately poor people from third-world countries who risk their lives smuggling drugs inside their bodies because they have no other option.

      My heart does NOT go out to Ivy Leaguers who got caught.

      • DR ROXXXO  

        Pity isn't a zero-sum game. You can feel bad for Harrison and for drug mules at the same time. Get over yourself.

      • ok  

        i hope that your heart also goes out to those Third World children who probably made your shirt, your shoes, and your jeans.

        don't wield the "Third World people" argument hold up your opinion if you aren't going to bring in what you're doing to these poor and helpless people also.

  25. Silly Sororities  

    Taking down pictures doesn't keep people from seeing them once they're cached. Woopsies!

  26. on drugs as murder  

    can we stop pretending that dealing drugs to people who take them voluntarily in order to relax is a some sort of evil deed? these were good kids. self-righteousness is stupid. nothing these kids did is morally worse than owning a bodega. if amy from hamdel were arrested, campus would mourn.

    • Anonymous  

      except the guy who sold these kids the drugs was arrested for soliciting a hitman to kill another drug kingpin.

      So these people were directly funding attempted murder.

      the bottom line is that there is rule of law, and these kids chose not to recognize it. society has a right to let them fry.

    • this list

      some of your logic is okay. the idea that buyers are innocently not contributing to some deadly and transnational economics - word. but good people still do bad things, and this is why we have law. no one is being self-righteous here, except for the person who came up with the name "operation ivy league"

    • Anonymous

      I would go to war for Amy.

  27. Curious

    What are the max/min sentences for each of the counts?

  28. George Bluth  

    and THATS why you dont sell drugs!

  29. Anonymous  

    what is CSCS?

  30. THIS IS  

    If people want to do drugs, let em fuckin do drugs, what do you care?

  31. Classicist

    Please don't tell me there was underage drinking, too. I couldn't bear it.

    To the undercover officers - get real jobs.

  32. what a waste  

    of tax dollars. would it not be more beneficial for society if law enforcement sought to punish actual criminals instead of harmless university students partaking in a very real trade?

  33. i learned in CC  

    CSCS is criminal sale of a controlled substance.

    i also learned in CC that obedience to the law is not a virtue in and of itself, and that the enforcement of an unjust law is injustice.

    • Anonymous  

      first of all, you can not possibly be even moderately intelligent if you are arguing for this "thing you learned in CC" as objective fact. come on. you're missing the whole point of thinking critically -- you just expressed one viewpoint, not THE viewpoint.

      consider the flipside of the benefit of a society where people, for the most part, adhere to the law. in fact, one could even argue that "following the law" is itself a meta-principle that supersedes acting in accordance with any one particular law. i think any idiot could see the benefits here. in this realm of meta-principles, there is usually a clause (and if there isn't, i say there ought to be) that indicates a method of resolution over legislative disagreement. for something in such a gray area as drug legislation, i don't think there is an overriding moral imperative to engage in drug-related behavior, and the proper way of criticizing this policy is through involvement in the political process. NOT involvement in some sophisticated business to make a cheap profit off cocaine-addicted college students.

      so, please. rethink the purpose of the core. are you amassing knowledge to show off at your next fancy ivy-league dinner party (which it doesn't sound like you'll even be invited to based on your comment)? or is the point to learn to think CRITICALLY?

      i think the arrested students are definitely stupid and most likely greedy. but that certainly isn't what bothers me the most here.

    • asdf  

      if you learned that in CC, it must be right...

  34. uhhhh  

    Woah woah woah THE STUDENTS didn't ask a client to kidnap and kill. Their big scary supplier dude did. Quite different.

  35. Anonymous  

    they spent FIVE MONTHS on this investigation? what is wrong with the world?

    • Anonymous

      I'm sure it's because the operation was a lot bigger than just the students, especially considering the need enough evidence to make an investigation and arrest legitimate

    • yeah  

      you fucking idiot, there were some serious big time dealers involved in this on the higher end.. hence the 5 months.. well worth it to get those murderers off the streets, even at the cost of 5 guilty columbia students. oh no, they wont get jobs with mckinsey and goldman sachs now. jesus fucking christ htey are all rich as hell frat boys anyway.

  36. Anonymous  

    Notice how these were already the 3 most pathetic frats on campus

  37. sentence?  

    what kind of sentences are we talking about here? hard time for hard drugs?

  38. Anonymous  

    Does this mean they're all getting expelled?

  39. anonymous

    funny this is coming after Barnard voted to give Greek life recognition, and the Greek Life propaganda patrol has been going on and on about how wholesome they are… "nothing immoral EVER goes on in Greek life!" blablabla.... oh good god they have really shamed this school

  40. question  

    my question is, since this operation was discovered through the crime stoppers hotline (an anonymous tipster website) who had enough an issue with these guys to turn them in? thoughts....

  41. Stringer Bell  

    ...Until then, Mr. Charles, we're going to handle this shit like businessmen, sell the shit, make the profit and later for that gangsta bullshit

  42. Students for a sensible  

    drug policy or whatever group we have here should hold some sort of rally to support these guys. Thanks Police, what a bullshit way to ruin their lives

    • lul  

      the students for sensible drug policy probably just lost their 5 best members

      • Anonymous  

        If anything, they just lost their 5 worst enemies. If you think about it, drug dealers want drugs to remain illegal. They want the drug policy to remain senseless. Illegality gives drugs a HUGE artificial price boost, which is what makes drug dealing a get-rich-QUICK scheme, as opposed to selling legal drugs, like a pharmacy, which, although it can be lucrative, isn't all that quick. how smart can your plan(US Drug Policy) be when your enemies, the people it's supposed to be stopping, want it to remain in place?

  43. question  

    my question is, since this operation was discovered through the crime stoppers hotline, an anonymous tipster website, who had enough issues with these students to turn them in? i don't know all of them, but the few that i know are just nice guys trying to have a little fun. what do you think was the motivation behind the act?

  44. ...  

    "As a possible consequence of this, a tipster has informed us that sororities have been instructed to take down Theta + Pike posters around campus and to remove Facebook photos taken from inside fraternity houses."

    LOL what the fuck is that supposed to do? do they really think people are stupid enough to not associate sororities with frats?

  45. Anonymous  

    Why do so many people here hate the frats? Like dont get me wrong I'm not in love with them, but it's not like they are the big bad greek coalition from a national lampoon movie. I feel ambivalent towards them which is why I'm surprised there is so much hate/dislike. What is the cause?

  46. you self-righteous pricks  

    if you've never done anything illegal in your entire life, believe that the government should police morality in a population by controlling substances from mcdonalds to pot, and genuinely think that it doesnt matter that these guys were good students and active participants in student life, then you can comment.

    if not, shut up.

    • Anonymous  

      i will comment however and whenever I want. I can be hypocritical and still be right.

      I may go over the speed limit a few times, and drink under-age, but I was not selling thousands of dollars of drugs that I bought from a murderer. I think there is an intuitive difference, and these kids need to goto jail. There needs to be a respect for the law, and the way to change the law is not to go and make yourself a criminal.

    • deserved  

      As a person who has never even consumed alcohol because I'm underage, and aside from J-walking has never broken the law, I can say I have NO sympathy.

      Sure some are nice guys, but really? What they did is a serious crime. And hurtful to the community. And hurtful, thanks to this press, to all other Columbia students.

      Need to pay for college? take out loan like the rest of us.

    • Anonymous

      I'm on your side but I'll let people on the other side comment

  47. Anonymous  

    I lol'd. Oops.

  48. silver lining

    frat parties will be a lot more fun now that they have nothing to hide.

  49. Anonymous  

    Who the hell called crimestoppers to turn them in? Way to be the world's biggest douche and ruin someone's life for selling harmless drugs to people who know the risks associated with taking them. Go to hell.

  50. Columbia?  

    More like COLOMBIA aaaaoooooo

  51. Cocaine

    Also known as an extremely harmless drug from which nobody's ever died.

    Good job Columbia.

  52. Anonymous

    For the lesser informed:

    Intelligent people taking ADHD/ADD meds:

    A NY Times article published this year reported that high-achieving students are more likely to try drugs esp. psychdelics like magic mushrooms and LSD

    As to cocaine:
    Its known as the rich kids drugs. Check txts from last night. I bet you anywhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the posts are about 8balls, lines or any other assortment of coke references

    Drugs are nothing new and for those that are taking glory in the downfall of others... well you'll get yours in time.

  53. Anonymous  

    $10 for a tab of LSD seems very reasonable. amirite?

    also...criminal nuisance sounds like the saddest charge ever.

  54. Anonymous

    welllllll. at least they won't have to take finals

  55. Anonymous

    seriously--mention ec and the irc bwog. the irc is the real surprise.

  56. jeez.

    definitely know one of these people. scared.

    i'm glad the names were posted. i was expecting to see the bust of an even bigger operation.

  57. CC 13  

    "theres an intuitive difference" "there needs to be respect for the law"...between basing ethics on irrational feeling and worshipping the state out of blind obedience, there's no way you're a CC/SEAS student. Barnard? The self-righteous uptightness sounds like Barnard.

    • anonymous

      funny how quickly a discussion on a Columbia College drug operation dissolved into bias against Barnard.....

    • Anonymous  

      actually CC'11 so suck a big d. I'm glad that you are so secure in your convictions that you find it necessary to make an ad hominem argument. That shows great maturity.

      ethics is largely based on irrational differences. I can think of several readings from Columbia's ethics course which supports that argument.

      Blind obedience? How about realism? You're never going to get anywhere trying to change drug laws by doing stupid shit like being a dealer.

      • anonymous

        . . . what?

        "there’s no way you’re a CC/SEAS student. Barnard? The self-righteous uptightness sounds like Barnard."

        Again, it's funny how quickly a discussion about a Columbia College drug operation somehow dissolved into bias against Barnard…..

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I've found CC kids to be much more douchey and out of touch than Barnard girls. Barnard does have a problem with turning nothing into sexism, but even the professionally offended girls can be made to have a good time. CC kids, as a monolithic entity, do not understand how the world works under $250,000/year.

  58. ha  

    Tom Marvolo RIddle= Lord Voldemort
    Joseph Stephen Perez = Stephan Vincnzo

  59. how is IRC a surprise?  

    its not like IRC contributes positively to campus. minorities-including me-dont use it and feel fine without it.

  60. Anonymous  

    these guys knew that they were selling illegal drugs. they knew the consequences. they were taking a risk when they started dealing. how can you really feel so sorry for them? it's really just their bad luck because they didn't get caught til now.

  61. Victimless crime  

    my ass. Forget for a second that the suppliers are some fucked up people. What if (and this shit happens all the time where I'm from) some other drug dealers found out that Columbia students had supplies and cash. The Columbia dealers don't have bodyguards, lookouts or weapons (supposedly). If drug dealers wanPeople would get hurt, and this is not a supposition, this is FACT. I don't believe on being on some moral high ground saying drug dealing/usage is bad, etc, etc, but there's always another way if you need cash that badly. Do you know how many kids are dying to get into Ivy League schools? Whore yourself out for tutoring/essay writing services. Can't find any kids? Sell your shit on Ebay/Craigslist. Not enough money? Fast food industry. Not intellectually stimulating? Get over yourself, you don't have a degree yet. ted to roll up on the Columbia dealers for numerous reasons (encroaching on territory, just want the cash and supplies, etc.) and had all the aforementioned things, shit would get scary really quickly.

    The point is that there are numerous choices. These people happened to make the wrong ones and these wrong ones have serious consequences for all parties involved.

  62. none  

    Bwog should get rid of the comments for this article and stop facilitating a forum in which others could be implicated

  63. ...  

    what a shame... this place is really in dire need of more psychedelic drugs... too many robots chasing points...

  64. Anonymous  

    Nah I'm an agnostic. The law I tend to believe in.

  65. Anonymous

    Arrested for selling marijuana? Bullshit.

    Arrested for selling cocaine? Throw the book at 'em. Cocaine's evil.

  66. Sanity  

    Relax, relax. This is Columbia, not the real world. All of these students' moms and dads can afford high-powered lawyers and they'll get off with a slap on the wrist.

  67. question  

    umm...just because it's the law does not mean that it's correct.

    personally, i think our drug laws are completely fucked up and they are the reason why we find ourselves in situations like this.

    and yes i do think that this was personally motivated. who cares if someone else is doing drugs. if it's not your body than STFU and sit down. unless you seriously bought all that OMG DRUGS ARE BAD stuff from D.A.R.E. then I really do think that this was personally motivated. why would you wanna fuck someone over like that?

    • Anonymous

      If you think the drug laws are fucked up, then fight them through the courts, don't just ignore them. And to believe that buying illegal drugs affects you, and you alone shows just how self-centered you are. Every dollar that goes towards the illegal drug market will affect everyone who is a part of the drug "trade". Including the mules who are given them option of transporting drugs or being killed, and the people/murder victims who live in the Mexican and South American communities that feel the brunt of the drug wars.

    • Anonymous  

      Drugs are bad you idiot! How can you really comment saying they're not?

  68. How appropriate..  

    Last Facebook status before arrest:

    Chris Coles: "I am stressed out." Monday 4PM

    Stephan Vincenzo: "Your back is wet from all the tears you have cried, you are disillusioned from all those years worth of lies, Lady Liberty needs new glasses for her diminished eyes, The American Dream is a mirage you have come to realize, They can try to arrest and deport you, but your spirit will never die." Monday 10 PM

  69. My thumbs up  

    are counting as 6 thumbs up!

  70. .  

    Does anyone know if they need to display a search warrant at the door of the frat before entering?

  71. ~

    Ridiculous that NYPD is focusing on arresting Columbia kids. b/c really of all the issues out there in Manhattan, a bunch of Columbia kids who are dealing to other stressed out Columbia kids is REALLY their biggest concern. I'm sure New Yorkers will sleep much safer knowing that 5 Columbia kids are behind bars

  72. Anonymous  


  73. blah  

    arent people at this school supposed to be considered intelligent enough to take responsibility for the (irresponsible) decisions that they make? there was always a risk that they could get caught and severely punished because of the laws that exist today. maybe they should have weighted that factor into their reasoning to making a quick buck. there are a lot of other ways to make money, and you cant excuse it just because they are on the student council, or in a frat, or a gates scholar. book smarts =/= common sense. they fucked themselves over and thats all there is to it.

    it's funny, id like to see half the people on here shouting "legalize it, these are harmless people, mind your own business" for the people on the streets, who get busted for this shit everyday, who dont have the privilege to get just a slap on the wrist (which people do in this school when they arent caught by the actual police), who are classified as criminals and neighborhood scourges for doing the same shit. so fuck the entitled people. equal treatment, thats all.

  74. Jack Frost

    ITT: Upper Middle Class to Upper Class White Kids who went through D.A.R.E. and became best friends with their school cop because you wanted to touch the shotgun in his Interceptor.

    Blast cocaine all you want. It's an utter villain, but read/experiment/make opinions of your own before you denounce LSD/Ecstasy. You're only strengthening the Archons' grip. Although it looks like some of your student body isn't completely mindless, I expected more out of the intelligent, functioning Columbia student. I guess it really was all just parental pressure.

    Also, why isn't being a member of a fraternity listed under their criminal charges? Nuke em'.

  75. Anonymous  

    doesn't new york have real crime for cops to be dealing with? college students selling drugs to other college students doesn't quite seem on par with realer shit going on elsewhere. i don't fully buy the argument that because they go to Columbia they deserve some sort of special consideration, HOWEVER it seems like a disgusting waste of resources for several undercover police officers to have spent that much time on five undergrads who can't possibly be that high up on the drug-dealer food chain.

  76. :(  

    1. Yes, laws are not always right or moral. Nonetheless, they are laws!!! We live in a system in which we get punished if we don't obey laws. If you have problems with the law, seriously get out and reform it! If you are still going to disobey it, just go turn yourself to the police and go sit in the prison for what you believe in. I will then admire your commitment to what you believe in!

    2. Regardless of what the law says and how I believe you should not supply or consume drugs, this is a serious concern for Columbia Community. These are our peers and friends. We have to do something to protect them from the police. It would make more sense if the university did things rather than the police. I cannot believe police will sit around to convict college students. This is just a shame. I feel upset.....

    • huhwhatzit

      1. Okay, I agree with that
      2. The NYPD didn't say we're bored, let's go harass college kids just for the hell of it. The whole thing was set in motion with multiple CrimeStoppers tips. What do you expect the university to do at that point, interfere with a police investigation?

      • :(  

        So you think the university should not do anything? I think the reason why I feel upset about this is because there was no university-wide effort in trying to reduce/stop drugs. For gods sake, we all know that it is assumed here that as long as you don't overtly do drugs and show it off to your RAs or anything, it is okay to do it. I have never done drugs in my life for personal reasons but I have been smelling it in the halls and seen people talk about it overtly or post pictures on facebook.

        I think it is wrong for the institution to implicitly acquiesce something and then criticize the students for getting arrested and making stupid mistakes? And when I say the institution, I am not just talking about the administration but also the student body! Us who are gossiping! I think it is unfair for us, the student body, to criticize these students for dealing drugs and getting caught when we encouraged the culture by not doing anything or talking against it in the past.

  77. connections  

    It isn't harmless until someone gets shot. These students don't have guns or body guards like other drug dealers do. They probably though it would never get to that point. Two shootings in NYC have been loosely connected to this "drug ring". The NYPD should be spending time on these things but in every drug ring there's murder and the NYPD may have just saved their lives, not their education/career but that fact that they aren't in the morgue tomorrow.

  78. BWOG  

    this is such a beautiful post. Go be a real news outlet!

  79. WELL  

    i guess we can say good bye to our #4 u.s. news and world report ranking!

  80. Anonymous

    FACT: the law does not care about an individual's personal opinions.

    OPINON: The suggestion that the NYPD go after the "real" criminals is racist, classist, and elitist. My sincerest congratulations to the student body of Columbia for conducting such a careful and nuanced debate here...degrees on the house! After all, you DESERVE them!

    • totally  

      agree with you. how are drug dealers any less criminal if they go to columbia? if anything, I would judge them more harshly because they've actually been given the best opportunities in life.

    • thank you

      "The suggestion that the NYPD go after the “real” criminals is racist, classist, and elitist"

      Very true, I agree with you 100% and thank you for pointing this out.

    • Anonymous  

      You're a fool. The fact is that these guys werent hurting anyone. Members of every class and race commit far worse crimes than these guys all the time in this city. The issue at hand is whether criminals are actually harming other people, not where they come from or what they look like. Its totally legitimate to say the cops should be out chasing thieves, rapists, murderers, and violent drug dealers, not petty college pushers. These dudes were just having a good time.

    • maybe  

      Not necessarily. If you say "Bwog should go after black drug dealers instead of Columbians, because Columbians wouldn't hurt anyone," then it's racist, classist, and elitist. But if you say, "the NYPD should go after violent criminals instead of any nonviolent drug offenders" then it's not racist, classist, or elitist. One of SSDP's main arguments against the drug war is that it unfairly targets poor minorities. They're clearly not opposing the drug war because they're racist, classist, or elitist.

  81. moral of the story  

    just stick to pot for fuck's sake

  82. Anonymous  

    morning side vice. effing genius.

  83. so these undercover cops...  

    I don't know any dealers, but I imagine they only sell to other students, no? So did the undercover pretend to be CU students? Were they taking classes?

    Not that it matters, just idly wondering...

  84. yeah ok...  

    if these guys were murderers then the poster would not have said \go after real criminals.\ these people were drug dealers plain and simple that did not directly harm anyone. it is not racist classist or whatever to suggest that the police could spend their time catching rapists than people trying to make a quick buck.

    i think the only person thinking in terms of race is you, silly liberal.

    • BULL  

      shit. im sure everyone who was complaining about the NYPD spending time on these guys would be fine if the time & resources were spent on a harlem drug ring involving kidnaps and such...

  85. also  

    dammit law & order, why did you have to get canceled? you KNOW this would have made it into an episode sooner or later...

  86. wow  

    stephan vincenzo getting busted is the campus celebrity equivalent of tania getting busted for drug dealing. instead she got engaged. crazy week amirite?

  87. Anonymous  

    This might be a stupid question, but what is the chance that these were the only people involved? It just seems kind of unlikely to me that this "Columbia Drug Ring" as the special narcotics unit is calling it, was just the five students here and the three other people mentioned.

  88. well then

    it will just have to be on GG

  89. Information  

    What are the years of the students arrested?
    The New York times article states, "One of the arrested students, a senior, is a member of the Columbia University student council"

    Aren't 4 of them juniors and 1 a sophomore? Which one is the senior on student counsel, if I am wrong?

    • Anonymous  

      Mike Wymbs was on ESC a few years ago, if I'm not mistaken (he is definitely a senior, I know that much)

      • Information  

        The New York times article mentions that there is one senior and one sophomore.
        I know for a fact that 4 of the arrested are juniors. I don't know of Mike Wymbs so I assumed he was a sophomore.

        This is what the article states "One of the arrested students, a senior, is a member of the Columbia University student council, he said. Another, a sophomore, was the salutatorian of his high school and is currently enrolled in School of Engineering and Applied Science."

  90. Anonymous  

    Michael Wymbs was on Student Council in previous years.

  91. Anonymous  

    i lost my youngest uncle to a drug overdose when he was only 21, he also started hanging out with 'nice harmless kids' like these guys before it happened. lock these fuckers up

  92. Honestly  

    I hope to see frats banned from the school after this, we need to protect our reputation and provide a safe learning environment.

  93. Anonymous  

    i wonder if san diego university will perform a statistical analysis on this

  94. Anonymous  

    I don't get why they did this. To pay for college? One of them was on a full scholarship. I know this for a fact because I also applied for it and he beat me. This doesn't make sense. You go to an Ivy League. Why so desperate?

    But knowing two of these guys, I'm going to say that regardless of what comes out of this (I wouldn't be surprised if they somehow managed to wiggle out of most if not all of the typical prison sentence for these crimes, but it's unlikely that they'll be allowed to stay at Columbia) they're going to be okay. They are brilliant and capable (to the extent that I'll admit to being occasionally a little jealous). They're going to make their ways in the world more impressively than 90% of the population that has never been arrested on drug charges.

    • Anonymous  

      If college graduates are having trouble getting jobs now, just imagine how hard they'll have it after they get out of prison or finish up at community college, not to mention the psychological effect after expulsion from their dream schools

  95. Anonymous  

    The University had to have been tipped off or involved in this bust. Columbia has a sophisticated government affairs operation and employs many community liaisons, including a public safety investigation group that is in regular communication with the local police. Plus I know that at least one of these individuals believed/knew they were under university surveillance before the police broadened its invested to the other 4 suspects and not just David, who is alleged to have sold cocaine and was the main target, according to the Spec. Regardless if this or true or not, let's not be so naive as to think the administration was totally blindsided on this.

    Most of these comments regarding drug use, dealing, and the larger War on Drugs are facile and specious. It seems most of those posting have either no real knowledge about the history of the US' drug control policy or are inexperienced and ignorant about drugs. Stop being so petty and sanctimonious. Enough with the preposterous argument over whether or not frats provide a community. Let's see if there actually exist individuals at Columbia who can get over their judgmental, insecure, self-righteous selves and talk about the serious implications this has for our community. The horse is very much out of the barn now, as you can all see. This is certainly an unfortunate occurrence for all those involved, especially our 5 classmates whose lives will be drastically altered (no pun intended). But at least an internal dialogue/healing process can now begin in earnest.

    • Anonymous  

      My question is: why now? Drug dealers operating out of East Campus and the fraternities have been selling these substances in quantities large and small for time immemorial.

      I recall a Blue and White article that read like an expose describing a student's experiences purchasing marijuana and cocaine from a campus dealer in East Campus who had mushrooms and Ecstasy available in large quantities as well. I recall the article came out late 2007 / early 2008 but I didn't have any luck tracking it down. Regardless, at the time Public Safety responded to the reporter dismissively, assuring BW that students had adequate resources available should they need assistance with addiction treatment or rehabilitation.

      Thus, I am curious as to what external factors led to this bust. Politics? Or perhaps an interest in the particular suppliers that were picked up along with the students? There must be some reason that - after allowing this sort of thing to take place for years on end - the NYPD chose to crack down now.

      As the previous poster mentioned this, plus the wikileaks controversy, plus the theft of over $4 million from Columbia adds up to a whole lotta bad press. It will be interesting to see how the media spins this escapade.

      • Why not now?  

        I completely understand why the question "why now? why them specifically?" is being asked repeatedly, but think about it - it's just bad luck, really. 9 out of 10 times people don't get in trouble for smoking weed, or doing E, or whatever drug, but there is that 1 time when, unfortunately, and for seemingly no reason, they are caught. There are, as people repeatedly have said, limited resources that the NYPD has at their disposal. There must have been countless other similar incidences and reports in the past few years -- there are so many other people in this community, and in every community, that sell illegal products, these five were just an unlucky** chosen five.

        **While I personally do believe these boys do deserve some sympathy, I use 'unlucky' here to mean simply that they were in fact unlucky, not that they do or do not deserve the punishments, whatever they are, that they end up receiving.

  96. Drugs don't just come from fraternities.

    It is unrealistic to pretend that drugs on campus stem solely or primarily from greek life. There are plenty of non-greek students with the same behavior, including some who did get caught. Whether you like fraternities or not, getting rid of them would not eradicate drug use on campus. A few of those students just happened to live in fraternity houses, one was also an engineering school, another lived in EC- it is an unfortunate connection but doesn't mean that fraternities are the root of the drug environment at Columbia. Drugs can be a problem, but even if that is how you feel, getting rid of fraternities is not a solution.

  97. We took 2 big hits  

    this week, first the whole wikileaks thing, now this. We look like fools to the rest of the world. We need to do something radical to protect our reputations.

    • Anonymous  

      Are you kidding me? Stop being such a neurotic, pre-professional tool. These are very transient concerns that will neither affect the school nor any of the students that were not arrested. An institution like Columbia can easily weather such bs. The sensationalist nature of these stories only attests to the strength of our reputation and clout.

  98. does  

    nobody realize that they were buying these drugs from a MURDERER? who the fuck are these kids?

  99. let  


    • mj  

      Why is there so much hatred against the frat boys? I bet that the majority commentators who have been criticizing them have also engaged in illegal activities at one point in their life.

  100. Anonymous  

    What a cliche that's on your uncle not anyone else.

  101. Bossjan Nachbar  

    "good...those fuckers shorted me last time I was there"
    ----Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  102. Four Loko  

    are you sure you still want me to be illegal?

  103. well  

    this may be the largest bwog comment chain in bwog history. do we have a count on it? its already close to 300, my guess is it gets up to 1000.

    also, now i am NEVER gona get that seminar paper done.

  104. THE IRC!  

    THE IRC!! THE IRC!!! THE IRC!!! Safe space...or drug space.

    THE IRC!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. Claire  (Bwog Staff)  

    Any accusatory comments related to individuals or organizations that are not explicitly involved in this investigation will be removed. If you have any concerns regarding comments please e-mail

  106. Anonymous  

    SGA voted on recognizing SORORITY LIFE NOT FRATERNITY LIFE. Get your facts straight. Unless one of the individuals happens to be in a sorority then you can say ALL THE BS YOU WANT.

    • derp  

      ummm what about those posters that talk about theta + pike? you must be delusional if you think that sororities and frats aren't connected

      • theta+pike

        only because they are next door.

        also, it was one guy in pike. 1-2 guys in 3 frats shouldn't ruin the image of those three frats or the other fraternities or sororities. had it been 5 guys all in one frat then obviously that individual chapter would and should look bad but again it shouldn't reflect on all other frats.

        All those who point to this as an example of the horrible frats, what if the same comments were made about minorities?

  107. uhh  

    Why would you ask ESC for a comment? The ESC should not be held accountable for a former member's actions. This seems a little to malicious on the part of Bwog to me.

  108. Alumna

    Everyone knows the "real criminals" are selling crack, not cocaine. And Columbia students only do drugs ironically or because sleeping is for weaklings and state-schoolers.

    I just...I hate you all.

  109. Bossjan Nachbar  

    Roor Lion Roor

  110. Vlad  

    There are two things about these arrests that concern me.
    1) The city just blew at least 11k on this.
    2) Why did the police make 31 deals before the arrests? If the crime was committed (the merit of drug laws aside) the arrest should have been made right away. From the standpoint of the institution, the police were allowing "crimes" to continue. Moreover, I just get the feeling that they were trying to make a bigger case out of it.

  111. disappointing

    did the police really have to spend ten thousand dollars of tax payers' money before making this arrest? couldn't they have come to the same conclusions with a quarter or even less of that amount?

    • Anonymous  

      Agreed, but were they able to make the arrest after the first deal? Maybe they wanted to find out more about who was involved?

    • if you read anything

      you'd notice that the suppliers were brought down as well. its easy to catch the small time dealers but what the cops spent all this money for was to get the suppliers. these kids will turn on that guy, pay a fine and have some community service to do while the other guy spends 20 years in prison

  112. hmm

    that's 5 less people taking up seats at butler... too soon?

  113. deepthroat  

    follow the money....

    stanford wants its #4 back...

  114. Alum

    Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly (and Jim Gilchrist) organized this sensationalist sting operation to put the pinhead University of Havana North fascist liberal anarchists back in their place.

  115. !!!  

    The thing that's really disheartening about this entire ordeal is the way that it will reflect on Columbia's Greek community on a whole. At the end of the day, this is the act of a few individuals who made incredibly stupid choices. However, the repercussions for their actions are going to be HUGE, and the media attention to these "frat bros" is going to be shameless; just look at the number of news vehicles parked on 114th and Broadway right now. This could affect Greek life, and campus at large, for a very long time in very detrimental ways. My thoughts go out to the countless individuals in the Greek community who fight everyday to show the truly positive side of their fraternity or sorority, only to have actions like this essentially reset the process. It's an absolute shame. There IS a positive side to the Greek community, but high profile cases like Operation: Ivy League destroy any good will that has been built up. I wish Columbia would realize that, and attempt to make a more cohesive community; some of the comments above are incredibly sad in this regard.

    On an unrelated note, anyone wondering why this operation took so long, or cost so much money should go watch "The Wire." I mean, everyone should go watch "The Wire," but still.

  116. According to the photos  

    Did the NYPD pull up in unmarked vans? is that normal

  117. !!!  

    P.S. The Varsity Show writers now have NO REASON WHATSOEVER for a bad show this year. Good luck.

  118. Anonymous  

    It's hard out here for an ivy league scholar.

  119. Anonymous  

    At least they don't have to take finals...

  120. Against Wrong Moves  

    I wonder how much money was spent on this \5 months investigation\. That Police Commissioner Ray Kelly must feel pretty good about himself. What if police spent the money that was used on the investigation on after school programs for kids or something similar rather than on bs stuff like this?

  121. anonymous  

    1. The fact that BWOG posted an article in commemoration for a single one of the students and not the rest of them is disgusting.
    2. BWOG allowed it to stay up as long as it did, without understanding the repercussions - knowing an article about the "character" of a drug dealer and leaving it open ended for students to talk about. The kid was a good kid who just made poor decisions. All of them are. Shit happens when you're young - people do stupid things, it doesn't mean they're bad people.
    3. BWOG's artist sucks
    4. I don't believe you can judge one person solely based on actions they are "caught" for. All of these kids have a very hard time ahead of them. It is no use to bash them for something they already know they've done wrong.
    5. I'm sorry guys - that sucks. I wish you the best of luck on your journey in life. Shit doesn't always work out the way it was planned. I know you had good intentions. It's like Epictetus said when he talks judgment of self character, one can only blame one's self for his actions and not outside forces and even when you act you act because your intentions seem to be in someone's best interest - "seemed like a good idea at the time."

    These are not malicious characters, it's too bad.

    • Anonymous  

      1. What are you talking about?
      2. Are you referring to the April '09 article with Vincenzo? That's irrelevant and comments are closed...
      3. I lol'd.
      4/5. They done goof'd.

    • wow  

      I know how you feel. On 9/11, I checked the archives of the New York Times and found that they had previously reported on the World Trade Center. How could they be so insensitive?!

      • Patrick

        "I know how you feel. On 9/11, I checked the archives of the New York Times and found that they had previously reported on the World Trade Center. How could they be so insensitive?!"

        Marry me.

  122. were  

    any of the 5 kids in St. Anthony Hall?


    Bwog comments are honestly the best read of my life. Way better than that pride and prejudice bullshit.


  124. Anonymous  

    Colombian cartel or the Columbian cartel.

  125. Gossip Girl  

    Where they responsible for Serena van der Woodsen being drugged at the Saints and Sinners Party?


    Gossip Girl

  126. Anonymous  

    you spend $800 a month on food?

  127. ive heard  

    all of greek life leadership is meeting tonight to decide how best to handle this nightmare.

  128. Anonymous

    Ha Ha!!
    A'int no cure for stupid.
    How was central booking boys?
    Maybe the frats will now stop making noise and respect that they live on a block with other people....buch of self centered assholes.

  129. Anonymous

    is there such a thung as greek leadership?
    WTF, they had an agenda item 11 to have Adam stop selling drugs in the frat house.
    Thats leadreship for ya!!

  130. Anonymous  

    Someone asked about the sentencing for the charges, the 5 guys should be thankful the Rockefeller Drug Laws are no longer on the books...

    CSCS = criminal sale of a controlled substance
    5th degree: "A person is guilty of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree when he knowingly and unlawfully sells a controlled substance." --> class D felony
    3rd degree: sale of any one of a list of controlled substances, including narcotics, hallucinogens, meth, etc., in a small amount --> class B felony
    2nd degree: sale of any one of list of controlled substances in a larger amount than 3rd degree --> class A-II felony

    Criminal sale of marijuana
    degrees of crime vary by amount
    4th --> class A misdemeanor
    3rd --> class E felony
    1st --> class C felony

    Criminal nuisance in the second degree --> Class B misdemeanor
    A person is guilty of criminal nuisance in the second degree when:
    1. By conduct either unlawful in itself or unreasonable under all the circumstances, he knowingly or recklessly creates or maintains a condition which endangers the safety or health of a considerable number of persons; or
    2. He knowingly conducts or maintains any premises, place or resort where persons gather for purposes of engaging in unlawful conduct.

    Criminal nuisance in the first degree --> Class E felony
    A person is guilty of criminal nuisance in the first degree when he knowingly conducts or maintains any premises, place or resort where persons come or gather for purposes of engaging in the unlawful sale of controlled substances in violation of [drug laws, including CSCS & criminal sale of marijuna] of this chapter, and thereby derives the benefit from such unlawful conduct.

    N.Y. Sentencing Guidelines for Defendants with No Priors
    Class B Misdemeanor --> no jail time required, but up to 90 days
    Class A Misdemeanor --> no jail time required, but up to 1 year
    Class E Felony --> no jail time required, but up to 1.33 - 4 years
    Class D Felony --> no jail time required, possible probation if no jail time, but up to 2.33 - 7 years
    Class C Felony --> no jail time required, possible probation if no jail time, but up to 5 - 15 years
    Class B Felony --> lowest sentence of 1 - 3 years, but up to 8.33 - 25 years
    Class A-2 Felony --> lowest sentence of 3 years, but up to 8.33

  131. My name is Barack Obama  

    and I did cocaine as a kid. And I dare you to arrest me...bitches

  132. comon guys  

    We can do it, 400 comments... who's down?

  133. me thinks...  

    they are innocent. ah me thinks they were framed.

  134. Ho Ho Ho  

    Does Santa visit jail cells?
    ok, i'll stop that's mean!

  135. Anonymous  

    Did anyone else see that slideshow on dnainfo? They had pictures of pot plants and grow setups and what looked like mushroom cultivation kits. Is it just me or were these types of offenses not part of the charges? Is this just what some random publication stereotypically thinks of when they hear college students busted for selling drugs?

  136. point?  

    The effects of this bust:
    1) People who did drugs will still do drugs, but will now have to go to other dealers (perhaps even to the wrong, more dangerous people they shouldn't get involved with).
    2) The money that was spent on this investigation could have Actually made a positive change in NY if it was spent on something better( like programs for children).
    3) Also this bust possibly ruined lives on 5 people who were going to be future leaders.

    What are some of the positive effects...? Can't think of any...

  137. Anonymous

    Sure, come sit on Santas lap little boy!

  138. eff

    DO YOU GUYS UNDERSTAND? THERE WERE FUCKING UNDERCOVER COPS / NARCS OPERATING AT OUR SCHOOL FOR MONTHS. columbia must have known about the investigation of its 5 students. this is some scary shit.

    • Hamdel Hombre

      they probably went to hamdel at least a few times

    • maybe  

      but the narcs were undercover as GS students. If you say you're a GS student who lives off-campus and you just show up to a frat party, nobody's going to suspect you're a narc. They could go to the frats without getting on campus, and they probably got signed into EC by telling their "dealer" they were from GS and couldn't swipe in. Columbia probably had no idea the NYPD was doing this. If they had, it wouldn't have turned into this huge operation that caught the university off guard and greatly embarrassed them.

  139. important question  

    Will this help or hurt our attempts to get President Obama to speak at commencement?

  140. Just saying...  

    the spec article is definitely more in depth than this article. you should check it out.

  141. i'd like to say it again  

    fuck the police

  142. Bwog

    You should put the reactions in a different post from the actual news

  143. Anonymous

    The frats are on a public nyc street and police do not need permission of university to bust drug dealers. Also, sold from dorms to undercover officers, i don't think columbia knew. I think if university knew, they would have protected their students and done everything to get this dropped.

  144. Alum

    I like the logic that we shouldn't lock up drug dealers who are "leaders" because otherwise ppl might buy their drugs from dangerous people...

    And I also question the term "leaders." have you ever been to a student council meeting?

  145. hahaha  

    to the classes 2015+
    a pike-less nsop week?

  146. alumna

    I've def seen Stephan there working until all hours of the night. Stay strong Chris and Stephan! I'm so heartsick that this has happened to you =[

  147. alumna

    in Butler, I mean. to the waaay above commenter

  148. the real question  

    is whether our columbia boys will snitch on the drug lords or not. if they do, they'll get off with some sort of plea bargain and no jail time but their personal security WILL be in question afterwards. If they don't, they get locked up. WHat would you do?

  149. word  

    FUCK the police. smoke blunts.

  150. Sassy Gay Friend  

    Look at your lives, look at your choices.


    Students for a Sensible Drug Policy & the Greek Community will be holding a vigil/rally in support of the Columbia 5 at the sundial tonight at 10pm. Please spread the word.

    • member of the greek community

      Excuse me, as a member of the greek community, I have to ask -- why the FUCK are we holding a vigil/rally in support of the "columbia 5"

      I actually know casually 2 of them and they are great people and I don't think they deserve this -- they are certainly not alone... but really? we're backing them on this? really? i get SSDP... but . Srsly?

    • Hmm...

      Shouldn't the focus be placed on creating sensible drug policy and not holding a vigil for those that deliberately violated the one currently in place? It's a shame, but these kids knew what they were doing.

    • Katharine Celentano  

      I don't know how this rumor was started. Students for Sensible Drug Policy will not be holding a rally/vigil or any other type of event tonight, nor were we ever planning to.

      - Katharine Celentano
      Director of Media Relations
      Columbia University Students for Sensible Drug Policy

  152. Aum

    "Only Michael Wymbs appears prepared to post bail—his parents came to the Manhattan Supreme Court this afternoon with a blank check." -- Spec


    • ummm  

      if your parents wouldnt do the same, well than your parents suck

      • Womp  

        My parents COULDN'T do the same.

      • Anonymous  

        Yeah, my parents couldn't do that either. So now the big question become: if your parents are rich enough to drop tens of thousands of dollars without a second thought to get you out of jail for a bit, why on earth would you be selling drugs? It makes absolutely NO sense. Buy drugs, fine. People of all economic classes do that. But sell them? Take this kind of risk for money your parents could give you?

        • I'm pretty sure  

          that you get most if not all of the bail money back, assuming you show up to court and don't flee the country. Right?

          • Anonymous

            If you can pay your own bail, it actually saves you money over having to pay the bondsman (assuming you don't jump bail). If they have the money they're doing the right thing. My parents don't have that kind of cash available, but this isn't like paying someone to write your kids' paper or making a donation to the school in return for a favor. They're exercising their legal option to release their son from jail before his trial. Most people who are arrested want their bail posted and most parents don't want their children in Rikers.

  153. ban frats on campus!  

    drug use aside, they suck. they bring nothing to the university besides the illusion of college culture --> admissions cash cow as the administration increasingly seeks to make the columbia image more mainstream.

    • pretty sure

      they bring more to campus than you (the average Columbia student) do.

      While I hate to bring up GPA as my first piece of evidence, I'm sure you'd like to think they're a bunch of dumb frat rats so I have no choice. The Greek GPA is 3.4 which is considerably higher than the schools average (I've heard ~3.0-3.1). And don't try to say that the Sororities are bringing that average up as the sorority average is just .01 higher.

      These chapters raise tens of thousands of dollars (probably more than that) and their members spend thousands of hours of their free time on philanthropic events. When's the last time you raised $500 for a charity?

      While I have no way to prove this without doing a full study, Greeks are probably more involved on campus than general students. They are on/in sports teams (going ahead, I'll wait for you to knock athletes too...ok?), dance teams, political clubs, service clubs, music/theater groups etc.

      Have you ever been to any of these non-Greek events? I bet you got annoyed by that gaggle of girls "whoo-ing" their friend after her solo. Want to know what that was? That was support that comes with Greek life. The family that comes from brother/sisterhood.

      Go ahead. Hate it.

      Done now?

      Let us enjoy our time here as we let you enjoy yours.

  154. WHY  

    are they pleading not guilty? they are clearly guilty.

    • legalese  

      They probably are pleading not guilty because they object to some of the charges. Entering a "not guilty" plea doesn't mean they are saying they didn't do it - it means that they may be looking to reduce some of the charges. Unless they were offered a deal (which they still might be), a not guilty plea helps them still work out a deal with the prosecution.

      • Anonymous  

        It is very disadvantageous to plead "guilty" during arraignment. Doing so would mean that they wouldn't get any plea bargain or any deals. They'll have to plead guilty eventually, unless they want to go to trial, but not now.

    • I think  

      If you originally plead "not guilty" then you can strike a plea deal. If you originally plead "guilty" you just gave away your only bargaining chip.

  155. Alum

    I definitely think the NYPD has misplaced its resources if they just wanted to bust a bunch of Ivy League kids. The main justification for picking on low-level kids would be that they were needed to bust larger fish I was under the impression that was the case.

    (just because the bigger fish is in Rikers doesn't mean the city doesn't need the kids in court to roll on them in trial)

    Another justification for the bust would be if CU alerted/asked for help from the NYPD about the dealers.

  156. ~  

    these are real people—your classmates, your friends—who are being turned into a spectacle. get off your self-righteous pedestal and take a second to think about the actual consequences. these comments are disgusting.

  157. Anonymous

    I usta go to Columbia, then I transferred to the school of hard knocks.

  158. Anonymous

    of course they are pleading NOT GUILTY. Who wouldn't make the state/city prove their case.

  159. SUP  

    I want to give a shout out to the police officer who is reading this blog (bwog?) comment section in hopes of gaining a lead towards more evidence. WHAT UP!!?!?!

  160. Holla at me  

    Is this too taboo to be in the Varsity Show?

  161. Anonymous  

    I really like the statement from Students for Sensible Drug Policy. I think one of the few gains that should be mentioned is the fact that students who were undecided on trying (harder) drugs would've been more likely to do so with a dealer on campus, in such close and easy proximity. So eliminating the dealer may deter these possible users.

  162. Don't....  

    ....drop the soap. Too soon?

  163. Anonymous

    The risk of higher learning...

  164. Hopefully...  

    Obama will pardon them.

  165. Anonymous  

    Yeah, and the one whose parents brought a blank check to the courthouse probably didn't need the money for school either. Nor did the one with two lawyers for parents, I'm guessing.

  166. Anonymous  

    you're wrong because as much good as they supposedly do, they just did a whole bunch of bad.

    consider the reputation of Columbia tainted as a drug haven thanks to your great greek life.

    and if it was so great, don't you think more people would be involved? especially since frats get better grades than average students apparently...

  167. Who were these undercover cops?

    I suspect NYPD sent scantily clad women posing as Barnard first-years to roam frat row and perch on Pike's stoop.

  168. Anonymous

    its just a shame that aepi is getting lumped in with those two lame ass frats. aepi is the chillest frat i've encountered on campus and all their guys have always been respectful to me

  169. curious  

    What does this mean?

    One student who belongs to a fraternity involved in the drug bust said, "I'm as good as I can be, knowing that my friends are going to prison."

  170. one college

    yea... name one college that doesn't have someone dealing drugs..

  171. Anonymous  

    Besides Stephan (creeps the shit out of me), the rest are good kids. The publicity that these busts has created will ruin their lives. Even if you have never done drugs/anything illegal, you can at least sympathize with the pain that they're all going through. I know that I've done legal stuff that, were circumstances aligned, could have ruined my life.

  172. I wonder if  

    they got the nypd. haw haw haw

  173. becca  

    You know, these 5 guys are pretty lucky. They have parents to back them up, they have friends who are praying for and are sad for them, they have access to non-court appointed attorneys, and any judge they get put in front of is going to see some nice young men who made some bad mistakes and who deserve a second chance at life. They're having a bad day (which is entirely of their own making, by the way), but their lives are hardly ruined.

    They'll get kicked out of Columbia? Lose scholarships? Spend a couple years in jail? And because of this, we assume their lives are over?

    Columbia community, your privilege is showing.

    Look--anyone who's done research on the drug war for more than five minutes knows the racist and classist policies it upholds. Most drug users are white, most of those in prison on drug charges are black; sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine, etc etc. So the real question here isn't "Oh boohoo why is the NYPD wasting its resources taking down our best and brightest," it's WHY DON'T THEY DO IT MORE OFTEN. Clearly, there is a culture of immunity here. Clearly, drug use is an open secret. So why does the NYPD expend the vast majority of its resources in poor minority areas, locking up black and Hispanic* kids, and not on the Upper West Side?

    And no, there's no good way to try to say "But our drug dealers are GOOD KIDS and BRILLIANT LEADERS while their drug dealers are EVIL VIOLENT CRIMINALS" without coming off as a racist. Because the policy is racist, the whole war is deeply racist, and to try to argue that the cops should get the hell off our nice privileged hillside only mirrors the same.

    Maybe it wouldn't bother me enough to make me want to post if I thought more than one in ten of you here (and on the NY Times website, and the Spec website) who are all angry about this useless stupid drug war didn't just get caught up to this issue THIS MORNING, because it was your incredibly privileged friend who got caught--and not yesterday, or last year, or the thirty years before that, when it was invisible because it was mostly poor black kids. Drugs ravage poor communities, but so do drug policies--just head down to Prospect Heights and ask around to see who has drug records, and ask them if it's gotten in the way of them finding any kind of employment. Somehow, I don't think these kids will have that problem. Anyone whining about how they should legalize drugs just so we can use them with impunity is an asshole.

    *I know not all the kids arrested were white, please excuse my simplistic, linguistic shorthand. Privilege is a complicated thing.

      • Anonymous

        I've been against U.S. drug policy for a long time - and if this is what it takes to wake some people up to it, then it's good that they're at least taking notice now. Even if they should have paid attention before.

    • well put  

      seriously... that being said, condolences to the 5 and their families. i feel deeply for you guys, and i'm sorry it had to end like this.

    • Anonymous  

      yes the law should be enforced equally I agree but that is a moot point when the law is insane in the first place. The war on drugs is a war on people. Weed does not destroy people's lives, but a weed conviction can sure make one's life a lot more difficult (especially if you are poor and black). With harder drugs it's more complicated but the war on drugs certainly has failed to make communities safer or remove drugs from the streets. Sure these students might get off relatively easy but getting kicked out of school and having a god knows how many google hits when someone does a background check on you really sucks. Rather than ruining privileged lives and unprivileged lives equally why not ruin no lives and mind your own business?

    • alumnus

      A community less able to 'take care of their own' and more reliant on public services to function will place more pressure on police and government to solve drug problems. There is greater law enforcement of drug laws within poor communities because drug abuse causes greater consequential harm to those communities than drug abuse causes to affluent communities. Local police and politicians respond to pressure from parents, schools, community leaders, etc, in poor communities to combat drug problems. Drug use causes less consequential harm within affluent communities because they have private means to absorb the harm, whereas poor communities lack the private means to protect their commons from drug problems. Affluent communities that do not suffer the same consequential harms to their commons, thus do not share the same need to apply the same pressure on police and politicians to combat drug problems, will have lower law enforcement of drug laws.

      Law enforcement doesn't operate in a vacuum. It responds to the needs and demands of the local community. I don't imagine many of the leaders of the poor communities that suffer more harm from drug abuse share the rich drug users' zeal to legalize drugs.

  174. SSDP?

    Where is the SSDP statement? I don't see it.

  175. Sir Thomas More  

    why can't we all just get along?

  176. Plato  

    this wouldn't have happened if we had philosophers for kings...

  177. actually  

    I think you'll find very few Columbians who ever supported the farce known as the War on Drugs. After all, we tend to be liberal, anti-authoritarian and known to engage in illegal underage drinking and marijuana smoking. Aside from a couple self-righteous conservative pricks, I bet the majority of students here are outraged at the racial disparities in drug sentencing.

  178. I think...  

    we should send all students home early for break due to recent events

  179. Anonymous

    And you wouldn't know it would happen like this

  180. Anonymous  

    I feel very sorry for the fact that the lives of five students who had the potential to succeed were irreversibly tarnished. But, I do not feel bad for them personally. They are not little kids. They knew what they were doing. We all takes risks when we break the law and we acknowledge that these risks have consequences. Some people have a higher tolerance for risk-taking. But when your time comes, you have to man up and acknowledge that: I took a risk, I had a rush, I knew the consequences, and here they are, staring me in the face. Yes, maybe pot should be legalized and maybe the speed limit on my street should be raised. But that's not reality - and you have to live with the consequences of your actions. Otherwise, we'll all sink to the level of irresponsibility.

  181. Anonymous

    Selling that acid was a bad idea
    And selling it to a cop was a worse one
    And the new law said seventeen-year-olds could do federal time
    You were the first one
    So I sing this song for you
    Victor Stanaforth Donahue
    Your grandfather rode the boat down over from Ireland
    But you made a bad decision or two

  182. Anonymous  

    This is just another indictment of the childish "Greek" system and the quality of student attracted to these archaic, regressive, and harmful organization. They do not belong at Columbia, other Ivies, or any at any university across the country. It's time to EVOLVE!

  183. Anonymous

    since when can you buy 40 grams of cocaine for $1,100??

    anyone reasonable cocaine user knows that these stats are obviously wrong.

  184. just another day

    read those books

  185. Anonymous

    the IRC has been a safe space for an entire community on campus. It has not only contributed to new currents of thought and hosted various speakers and events, but it also is a HOME to many. If you have not had a direct experience with the IRC, please do not say that it is not a positive influence on campus and judge it for the actions of one person. If you really have something to say about it- then bring it up to the house itself rather than hiding behind bwog to say it.

  186. Prez Ro'  

    December seventh, two-thousand-and-ten, a date which will live in infamy.

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