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Five Ivy League Students At Columbia Busted For Drug Ring

Submitted by on December 9, 2010 – 1:24 pm2 Comments

By now, we all know about private-school kids and how they seem to be well-meaning overachievers on the surface but turn out to be mischievous young troublemakers. While most people place these types of generalizations on middle school and high-school students, it seems this can also be applied to top tier private universities.

Case in point: A handful of Columbia University students were charged with selling drugs such as LSD, cocaine, and ecstasy at a few fraternity houses, as well as other residence halls and areas on the hallowed grounds of the prestigious institution.

In other words, just like most college campuses, even the Ivy Leagues have drug problems. The students were caught as a result of an undercover sting operation, aptly-titled “Operation Ivy League.”

During the time undercover, law enforcement officials became aware that the motivation for these students to engage in unlawful behavior was simple: They were trying to pay their way through school. Columbia’s tuition tops $55,000 a year, which prompted these kids to take the hustler’s route to a higher education.

Of course, this brings up two very interesting topics. For one, illegal activity is often seen as a route to a better life in the urban community. That defense doesn’t work for the underprivileged, so it definitely shouldn’t work for the overprivileged, either. These kids have access to some of the greatest professors and educational resources money can buy, not to mention the talent which got them such access. There’s no reason they couldn’t have found legitimate ways to come up with the cash.

Secondly, this may be a very small step in the fight against astronomical tuition/fee charges, a problem experienced nationwide, but probably more so in the Ivy League. If the prices are so high the students have resorted to slinging substances, it may be time to change them.

The bust has been called one of the most extensive on a New York City college campus in years and is said to have featured unusually casual drug dealing. Did these guys really think they could hustle product openly and not get caught? It’s a bit sad to think that with all the smarts these guys evidently have, they couldn’t figure out that an underhanded means of paying tuition isn’t worth jeopardizing one’s future.

All five of them have pleaded not guilty, which either means they think they are smart enough to get out of this, or they are looking to strike up a plea bargain in the future. They say they were supplied by violent traffickers—information on whom might grant them reduced sentences. However, if they are really violent, snitching might prove their worst move yet.

Source: CBS News

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