By Lindsay Haislip
Elm Staff Writer
Three individuals have been charged for the drug bust that occurred on the morning of March 17. Thomas Mumm, sophomores Richard Aulebach and Spencer Evans were charged for marijuana possession, according to Chestertown Chief of Police Robert Edler. Both Evans and Aulebach are students at WC, and Mumm is a non-student.
�Public Safety was alerted of a suspicious odor coming from a room in Somerset,� said Director of Public Safety, Jerry Roderick. The occupants opened the door when Public Safety officials arrived, and were interviewed by the officers, according to Roderick.
�Officers observed large amounts of paraphernalia in the room, and Chestertown police were called immediately.� Police received the call at 1:25 a.m., according to Edler.
�[The amount of marijuana found] was substantial. There was more than one person could consume on their own. Any time we have that much, it�s good to get it off the street,� said Edler. The only drug found in the room was marijuana, according to both Roderick and Edler.
The bust has raised questions about the drug culture on campus, which students find disconcerting.
�I feel that drugs are accepted, but it shouldn�t be,� said Joyell Johnson, a senior. �It�s spoken about so freely, it�s almost scary. It�s become the norm, and that�s not what should happen at any institution.�
Meaghan Murphy, a junior, is glad that the students did not get away with it. �It�s good that they caught these people because it�s made the campus community safer. It�ll be an example so people won�t do dumber things,� she said.
Murphy, however, was surprised to learn about the bust.
This case was of greater concern than most drug related cases on campus, as it appeared to be a distribution case, according to Edler. �We found different devices that indicated that there was both personal use and distribution,� said Edler.
There are certain items that help the police to identify drug cases as personal use or with intent to distribute. �Scales, individual baggies, etc, indicate distribution,� he said.
Mumm�s Mercedes was also seized in the case, as it contained large amounts of paraphernalia which indicate intent to distribute, according to Edler. �The intent to distribute is the most serious issue in this case, he said. He may or may not get that car back.�
�All three individuals have been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and two counts of paraphernalia,� said Edler.
Edler said that the court date has not yet been set, but will probably occur in middle to end of May. �There is no typical punishment for this offense, according to Edler. It depends on what judge is sitting that day. Each one has their own policy where drugs are involved. Possession with intent is a felony, so they will be heard in the main court. If this is their third or fourth offense, obviously their punishment will be more severe.�
�The case has been sent to Student Affairs, and is currently being dealt with by the Honor Board,� according to Roderick. �We are most concerned any time we see quantities that indicate distribution, said Roderick. �Distribution is looked at as a serious offense, as we feel that this risks their ability to receive an education.�
This incident is nothing new for Chestertown, according to Edler. �I have been here almost 25 years, and drugs have been an issue since the day I started; Not only for the drugs themselves, but also for the crimes that are associated with them, he said. For every 10 assaults we have, probably five of them are drug related. For every 10 burglaries, probably eight or 10 of those are drug related, and to get money for drugs, etc. Drugs have always been a problem around here and probably always will be,� said Edler.
The town has implemented methods to decrease the amount of trafficking that occurs in Chestertown. �We have the cameras in the high drug areas,� said Edler. �We have a zero tolerance for drugs. If we find any drugs at all, we will charge you. That�s just our policy here.�