Drug Scandal Hits Princeton; Police Stage Raid, Arrest 22

Princeton, N.J., police arrested 21 students and one former student Friday morning on drug-related charges in the biggest narcotics raid in Princeton University's history.

Police charged students with various possession and distribution offenses; the drugs involved included LSD, cocaine, marijuana and hashish.

Thirty policemen accompanied by seven university security officials arrested students in 12 dormitories and a psychology building at 5 a.m. While the police had warrants for a specific number of students, several roommates were arrested for possession of marijuana by chance when police searched the premises.

The police subsequently jailed the students and released them by 10 a.m. Seven students were released without bail and bail for the others ranged from $500 to $15,500.

The students will be arraigned December 20. No trial date has been set.


Those arrested include the former vice-chairman of the student government, a varsity hockey player, and some members of the university radio station.

The incident came one year to the exact day and hour after a raid which resulted in the arrest of seven undergraduates. After last year's arrests five students were forced to withdraw and others received a maximum of one and a half years of probation.

Students have circulated a petition calling for the resignation of J. Anderson Brown, dean of student affairs, because several of those arrested said some of the evidence used in incriminating them could not have been acquired without telephone taps, Craig Mellow, one of the petition's organizers, said yesterday.

Both Brown and Jerrold L. Witsil, university director of security, have denied any foreknowledge of the two-month on-campus undercover investigation until one hour before the actual arrests.

Brown said yesterday he is "disappointed" and "frustrated" by the ambiguities surrounding his involvement with the raid. "To my knowledge, the police would not require explicit university permission to tap students' phones," he said.

The Princeton Borough Police Department, which jointly conducted the investigation with the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, has denied allegations of telephone taps.

Borough chief of police Michael F. Carnevale Jr. said yesterday the university administration had no prior knowledge of the investigation.

One student had sold $1000 of cocaine to an undercover agent, Carnevale added.

Another petition, signed by about 400 people as of yesterday, requests leniency for those arrested when the school's disciplinary committee deliberates the status of the students.

The disciplinary committee's meeting is scheduled before the criminal trial of the students. Anything brought up during the disciplinary committee's hearing may be used as evidence at a later date, R. Claire Guthrie, assistant university counsel, said this weekend.

One of those arrested, who asked to remain anonymous, said the police used a woman undercover agent who asked for different drugs.

"They're making it look like the people on campus are dealing. But they only have connections. They provide for their friends. You can't live at a place like this and make a living pushing," he said