Weekend drug bust in Harbin

October 28, 2010

MPD evacuated Harbin Hall and arrested several students on Saturday.

Two of the three students arrested on Saturday for possession of and intent to manufacture and distribute the hallucinogenic drug Dimethyltryptamine appeared in U.S. District Court for arraignment on Wednesday. Georgetown student Charles Smith (COL‘14) and University of Richmond freshman John Perrone were released into the custody of their parents and allowed to return home to Massachusetts.

Smith and Perrone must reside at their family addresses under strict curfew and electronic monitoring, and either enroll in school or obtain full-time employment until their next hearing on Jan. 24. According to federal drug codes, Perrone and Smith face penalties of up to 20 years in prison and fines of $1 million.

MPD evacuated Harbin Hall and arrested several students on Saturday.

Smith’s roommate, John Romano (COL’14) was originally arrested along with Smith and Perrone, but was released by authorities on Monday after the charges against him were dropped.

According to a Metropolitan Police Department report, a Department of Public Safety officer saw a student outside Harbin Hall smoking K2. K2 is a close chemical analog of the active ingredient in marijuana but is legal in the District of Columbia and under federal law. When questioned, the student admitted to having obtained it from Harbin room 926.

When police searched the room, they found drug paraphernalia and hazardous material, as well as five small pill capsules containing suspected DMT, an illegal, hallucinogenic drug that causes sensory distortions and changes in mood and thought processes. An additional search of Perrone’s car revealed empty capsules with traces of suspected DMT.

Based on their searches, MPD arrested Smith, Perrone, and Romano and evacuated staff and approximately 400 freshman residents from Harbin Hall.

Harbin residents were concerned that they experienced so much chaos only two months into their Georgetown careers.

One freshman who knew the arrested students had more to say.

“Charlie is a really nice, outgoing kid. He’s very sociable. [Smith and Romano] did have a reputation for … like, not DMT necessarily but, you know, weed mostly,” fellow Harbin 9 resident Jay Tabaniag (COL’14) said. “There really wasn’t anything that would make me suspicious of them other than their reputation. But we didn’t know they went this hard.”

University spokesperson Julie Green-Bataille explained that the University “will take appropriate and prompt action related to these cases under our code of student conduct, which remains a confidential process consistent with our educational mission.”

Vice President of Student Affairs  Todd Olson is the most high ranking University administrator to comment on Saturday’s events.

President DeGioia has yet to address the University community about the situation.

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Didn’t a fire alarm go off a week before the drug bust? Didn’t some students complain about a strange smell then?