They face 21 federal charges in a “large-scale” drug ring involving UNC fraternities


CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) – Twenty-one people have been arrested for drug trafficking at and around the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and Appalachian State University.

According to Matthew Martin, a U.S. lawyer, UNC alumni, the drug dealers arrested were not small drug users but “hardened drug dealers.”

“It’s a big drug network and supply chain that nurtures drug culture in the fraternities, within these universities, around these universities and cities,” Martin said.

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He said the suspects were responsible for moving thousands of pounds of marijuana, hundreds of pounds of cocaine, LSD, molly, mushrooms, steroids, HGH, Xanax and other drugs.

The investigation that led to the case began years ago. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Control Agency launched an investigation in November 2018 into cocaine sold in the Chapel Hill area.

It soon became clear that illegal drug distribution was taking place at or near UNC sister organizations.
The court submissions explicitly point to the UNC Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma and Beta Theta Pi chapters 2017-2020, which are sites of illegal drug activity.

“Merchants established in houses that poison members of their fraternity feed a culture. And that’s why I’m saying it’s about saving lives today. Because this reckless culture has endangered lives,” Martin said.

A member of the Appalachian State fraternity is also accused of being part of the drug ring, selling it to fellow students in the App State, and people living in Chapel Hill.

Investigators also found that a female prince student was responsible for distributing cocaine to the prince’s students and members of the UNC fraternity.

The first person in California was the first to be charged. According to court documents, from March 2017 to March 22, 2019, he delivered about 200 pounds of marijuana and two kilograms of cocaine per week to a cooperating defendant in Orange County. Law enforcement operations at related sites in Carrboro and Hillsborough seized 148.75 pounds of marijuana, 442 grams of cocaine, 189 Xanax pills, steroids, human growth hormone, other drugs, and about $ 27,775.00 in U.S. currency.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“College communities need to be a safe haven for young adults to access higher education. It’s not a place where illegal drugs are readily available,” said Matt O’brien, a DEA agent. “Arresting these drug traffickers will make these university universities and their communities safer.”

UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has issued the following statement on the charges; “We have been extremely disappointed to learn of these alleged acts at the University. The University is committed to working with law enforcement to understand the involvement of any university person or organization so that disciplinary action can be taken. Although none of the individuals named today are currently enrolled students, we remain vigilant , and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and address illegal drug use at the university. Our community can be confident that the university will enforce the student code of conduct to the fullest extent possible. ”

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