First-Years Jailed on Alcohol Purchase Charges

While many students were heading for New Haven last Friday, two Harvard first-years were sitting in the Cambridge jail for transporting alcohol and procuring it by false representation.

The students were arrested after a sting operation organized by the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) as part of its "Cops in shops" program.

The program, which is conducted jointly with Harvard's police force as well as other entities, is designed to crack down on underage drinking in the area.

One of the first-years said he bought three 12 packs at the L'il Peach at 1105 Mass. Ave. using a 25-year-old's ID while his roommate waited outside.

The owner of L'il Peach, Regbul Chowdhury, said he could not comment on the specific incident, since he had not been working that shift.

As the student was making his purchases, he noticed two men in casual clothes milling around the store, he said.

"We were a little suspicious about the way they were just milling around," said the student who purchased the alcohol. "If we had been thinking more, we wouldn't have done it."

The students said they were buying the alcohol for The Game, which they were going to later that night.

The first-years walked down the steps of the L'il Peach and got about 20 feet from the front of the store when three police officers in uniform stopped them, said the student who bought the alcohol.

The two first-years were handcuffed and taken to the CPD. They were placed in a holding cell for about one hour until the parents of one of the students posted bail, said the student who purchased the alcohol.

"I don't like what happened," said the student who did not purchase the alco- hol. "I know friends of ours who went and did the same thing an hour before, bought more beer than we did. They went down to the Yale game while we had to try to explain what had happened to our parents."

The two students will be arraigned in the Cambridge Superior Court at 8:30 this morning.

The students said they face a fine of $25 to $100 each and a misdemeanor could appear on their records.

"I can understand that we were made an example of," said the student who did not purchase the alcohol. "I'm just not a real fan of laws. If there's a problem, [the system] just throws a bunch of laws at it."

The CPD notified the Harvard University Police Department, according to CPD spokesperson Frank T. Pasquarello. However, the students have not yet been notified whether they will face any disciplinary action from the administration, they said.