NYT: Operation Ivy League “Typical,” Except for the “Ivy League” Part
Written by Bwog Staff
The New York Times published a story today that calls last week’s bust of a drug ring involving Columbia students “unremarkable, but for one thing: [the] Ivy League clients.” Below, we highlight some relevant new information that our (full disclaimer!) very own Eliza Shapiro helped report:
- The original anonymous call to Crime Stoppers that prompted the investigation happened towards the end of the Spring ’10 semester, “leading the police to begin an investigation that focused on one Columbia student in particular: Harrison David.” There is still no public information about the context or content of that call.
- Harrison David “unwittingly led undercover officers to everyone else charged in the indictment.” He connected an undercover cop to his dealer, Miron Sarzynski.
- Most of the drug purchases were in “relatively small amounts,” such as an ounce of marijuana or “a few pills” or Adderall or ecstasy.
- Concerning disciplinary actions resulting from things such as the smell of marijuana, Shollenberger says that Columbia’s “threshold of proof is much lower than law enforcement’s for us to move forward.” However, he noted that it is not Columbia’s policy to actively search dorm rooms for drugs.
- Shollenberger also commented that the rise in the recorded number of disciplinary actions taken as a result of drug usage possibly went up recently due to recent changes in policy, such as increased training for RAs.
- Some personal info about the suppliers: Lagares, a supplier of cocaine to David, operated a Mister Softee truck. Sarzynski and Asper, marijuana suppliers from the East Village, were dating and eventually “planned to start a juice and health food business one day.” On her boyfriend, Asper says: “Miron is small potatoes. I thought the police had bigger fish to fry.”
- The Times also notes that given the depth “notorious New York City drug cases, these suspects seem somewhat unremarkable,” and that “illegal drug use is an issue on virtually all university and college campuses in the United States, and Columbia is no different.”