Operation Ivy League Actually Happened in 1973
Written by Bwog Staff
On December 7th, 2010, five Columbia students were arrested for allegedly dealing marijuana, LSD, cocaine, Adderall and ecstasy. Four of the five students arrested were members of fraternities. They were arrested after allegedly selling drugs to an undercover cop. This is a story you now know well.
Exactly thirty-seven years earlier, on December 7, 1973, five Columbia students were arrested for allegedly dealing cocaine and marijuana. All five of the students arrested were members of two fraternities: Beta Theta Pi and Delta Phi. They were arrested after allegedly selling drugs to an undercover cop. This is a story you may not have heard before. Bwog heard the story from an alum who was a freshman in 1973, and found the Crimson article which confirmed the details.
The harsh Rockefeller drug laws, which had gone into effect just months before the 1973 arrest, maintained a “one strike and you’re out rule” for drug dealing. All five students spent time in infamously brutal Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. Bwog is still digging up all the details we can find on this, but—good gravy!—history repeats itself we guess.
Update, 12/24: Here’s a Times article from December 21, 1973, on the two students arrested for dealing cocaine. Both students were on the wrestling team and members of Beta. The students—because there aren’t enough coincidences in this case—were unrelated and named Sean O’Neill and Robert O’Neill. They sold four ounces of cocaine to an undercover cop who posed as a student and moved into the Beta house. The other three students were Richard Becker, a senior charged with selling four pounds of marijuana to the undercover agent, Nicolas Delancie who was the President of Delta Phi and sold 15 ounces of marijuana, and Roman Luis, a sophomore charged with selling marijuana and cocaine.