Last year, 22 University students were arrested
in marijuana raids. Now that the smoke has
cleared, what really happened?
By Julia F. Heming I Daily Staff Reporter
ransacked. All the
been broken down
destroyed and his d
tossed around th
housemates told h
happened. In the e
the police, wearin
had banged on th
and charged in.
Adam said there w
police officers and a fe
"It was like out of a
they bang on your do(
screaming with their
said. 'He had entered
of a drug bust.
According to Ada
found a few ounces of
some paraphernalia in t
six people who lived th
mate Tim said the po
scales for weighing
"They searched the en
hen Adam* everything down to looking inside
(our) refrigerator and inside cans of
got home coffee. They looked inside the walls,"
Adam said. "They did thousands of
one evening dollars worth of damage."
Then the police left. Adam and
in the fall of his housemates hadn't been arrested
or charged with anything.
last year, it They waited.
looked as On April 13, nearly half a year
later, the Livingston and Washtenaw
if his house Narcotics Enforcement Team and the
Ann Arbor Police Department went
had been public with their success in the arrest
of a ring of drug dealers, including
3 doors had 22 University students, one alum
and one person living with a group
, his bed was of students. LAWNET is a multi-
jurisdictional taskforce made up of
rawers were officers from the state police force,
e room. His the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms and police departments
im what had from within Washtenaw and Livings-
ton counties. LAWNET Lt. Garth
arly evening, Burnside described the investigation
as a cooperative effort between state
g ski masks, and city authorities.
During a six-month investigation pro-
e back door cess, the police searched 13 off-campus
houses, the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and
Bursley Residence Hall. They confiscated
more than 34 pounds of marijuana, five
ere at least six guns and smaller amounts of prescription
ew search dogs. medications, hallucinogenic mushrooms
movie, where and cocaine. They shut down four grow-
or and come in ing operations of what they classified as
guns out," he highly potent marijuana. Charges were
the aftermath issued for marijuana possession; intent
to deliver, cultivation and maintaining
m, the police a drug house. Headlines ran across The
marijuana and Ann Arbor News: "Major Marijuana
he rooms of the Raids in Ann Arbor. All 24 suspects'
sere. His house- names were in the paper.
lice also found There is no question that LAWNET
the marijuana, and the Ann Arbor Police Depart-
tire house, like ment managed to seize a significant
volume of marijuana in this investi-
gation, and the discovery of growing
operations and firearms also indi-
cates the suspension of a serious and
potentially violent drug operation.
But the number of names released
by the authorities was misleading -
many of the students were involved
in a much smaller capacity. Without
specifying the degree of involve-
ment from each suspect, the authori-
ties marked the reputations of these
individuals and gained more public-
ity for themselves.
dam started smoking
marijuana in high school.
By last year, he and his
friends were smoking
every day and sometimes
more than once a day. But
he said he never consid-
ing his house wasn't quite a central
location for obtaining pot. "This was
basically just your typical college kids
sitting around smoking pot," he said.
After a couple of court dates, the
charges against Adam were dropped,
and he is currently serving a six-
month probation sentence. Provided
that he completes his probation, the
charges will not remain on his record.
But with his name printed both in The
Ann Arbor News and his hometown
newspaper, Adam received more
publicity than he wanted. He worries
about future employers finding the
articles on the Internet and assuming
that he was involved in a drug ring
with firearms and highly potent mari-
"I've never even seen a gun in my life.
They talked about people growing pot
- none of us were growing pot," he said,
referring to himself and his housemates.
"That's a totally different ballgame."
dam's housemate Tim
described the situa-
tion similarly. Tim was
working at the time of
the drug bust, but he
came home to find that
the police had hand-
cuffed his housemates and told them to
sit in the corners of the room, facing the
walls. Though Tim had dealt marijuana
in the past, he said he was not actively
dealing at the time of the drug bust.
In April, Tim was arrested with the
rest of his housemates. He spent the
night in jail and missed two exams
and one final paper. Only one of his
professors allowed him to make up
the work. He too was charged with
possession with intent to deliver and
maintaining a drug house.
ered himself a drug dealer. He said at most
he was giving his friends small amounts
of marijuana if they wanted it.
The police report said the authori-
ties had searched through the trash
on the curb outside of his house and
found plastic bags with a couple
of grams of marijuana, according
to Adam and his housemate. From
these findings they obtained a war-
rant and searched the house. Adam
was charged with possession with
intent to deliver and maintaining a
Burnside described a drug house
as a place where people meet to
abuse substances. He said an indi-
vidual can be charged with this "if
you have a house in which you allow
people to come over and use drugs."
But Adam denied this charge, say-
Note: The suspects would only speak on the condition of anonymity. In some cases, this was the result of an upcoming trial; in others it was necessary to preserve the reputa-
tions of those involved.
Photos show items obtained at various drug raids by the Ann Arbor Police Department last year. Photos courtesy AAPD.
6B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 3, 2005
The Michigan Daily -