96 Arrested in San Diego State U. Drug Bust

SAN DIEGO – Ninety-six people were arrested as a result of a massive drug bust at San Diego State University (SDSU) May 6. According to authorities, 75 of those arrested were students.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and SDSU campus police seized guns and drugs in a sting operation called “Operation Sudden Fall,” causing the group of law enforcement officials to infiltrate seven fraternities on campus. The operation was prompted after a female student died from a cocaine overdose in May 2007. In February, another student overdosed in one of the fraternity houses.

Police served nine warrants and were able to confiscate four pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, marijuana plants, ecstasy, mushrooms, hash oil, methamphetamine and prescription drugs, officials said. Other items found included $60,000, three semi-automatic pistols, a shot gun and brass knuckles.

One of the students arrested was one month away from completing his master’s degree in Homeland Security. He was also an employee of the campus police department. Additionally, another suspect, who is a criminal justice major, was discovered with 500 grams of cocaine and two guns.

The majority of the students arrested were members of Theta Chi and Phi Kappa Psi. One member of Theta Chi allegedly sent a mass text message out to customers, discussing a huge “sale” on cocaine, including details on reduced prices, according to the DEA.

According to Stephen Weber, president at SDSU, only 33 students were arrested as a direct result of the sting. Those students have been suspended. The others were arrested during routine campus patrols between Jan. 16, until May 6.

Officials said students who were previously caught for minor drug offenses and other crimes became informants who introduced undercover agents to drug dealers by way of text messages. Additionally, chief of the District Attorney’s Major Narcotics Unit and lead prosecutor on the SDSU case, Damon Mosler, said the majority of students arrested were charged either with minor misdemeanors or not charged at all.

More than 130 drug purchases and seizures were made during the sting operation.

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