Columbia University drug bust: five students arrested


(Photo: Scott Sanchez/

Five students were arrested Tuesday as part of the massive Columbia University drug bust. The young suspects said nothing as they were handcuffed and taken into custody early that morning. They are being charged for selling thousands of dollars worth of drugs out of dorm rooms and fraternity houses.

Suspects in the Columbia University drug bust

The students involved in the Columbia University drug bust said they sold drugs to pay for school tuition, according to the Columbia Spectator. Adam Klein, Chris Coles, Jose Perez, Harrison David, all 20, and former student council member Michael Wymbs, 22, were charged with selling cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, Adderall and LSD from their dormitories, fraternity houses and other spots on school campuses.

A spokesperson for the Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office said the only one prepared to post bail — set at $25,000 — was Wymbs, who was expected to be released Tuesday night. The other four were taken to Rikers Island. The spokesperson also stated that David was the main target of the investigation. He was the only student to sell cocaine — including an $880 sale of nearly 20 grams in September. Undercover detectives made their first several purchases from David, and the other four were later added to the string of drug deals in October and November. Altogether, since the investigation began in July, the students tied to the Columbia University drug bust made nearly $11,000 in sales to undercover officers.

Good students gone bad

In terms of grades and extracurriculars, defense lawyers spoke highly of the students involved in the Columbia University drug bust. Michael Wymbs, who served as the Engineering Student Council’s vice president in 2007-2008 for his class, told a detective he sold the drugs because his father wouldn’t pay for his tuition. Like Wymbs, who reportedly had a previously clean record and a 3.5 GPA, Chris Coles claimed he too sold drugs to pay for school tuition. Jose Perez (aka Stephan Vincenzo) is a prestigious Gates Millenium Scholar who has “limited financial ability,” reports to Bloomberg.

According to the university’s website, tuition is about $41,600 for the 2010-11 academic year.


Columbia Spectator


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