Three ESU students were arrested as a result of a drug bust on Friday, Oct. 26.
According to a press release from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, members of the Monroe County Drug Task Force, a detective from the Monroe County DA, troopers from Pennsylvania State Police, an officer from the Stroud Area Regional Police, and a campus police officer executed searches in two dorm rooms on the second and fourth floors of Sycamore Suites.
A digital scale, packing materials, two ounces of marijuana and cell phones were taken from the second floor room, according to the release Three prepackaged bags, each containing a gram of what officials suspect is cocaine, a digital scale and a lockbox containing a marijuana known as “shake” was seized from the fourth floor room.
As a result, Rasheed Muhammad, 19; Shaheed Muhammad, 19; and Quamir Dasean Lindsay, 20, were arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance among other related offenses.
According to the release, the arrest was a continuation of the string of arrests of those involved with the stabbing of an ESU student in February. The Muhammad brothers were allegedly involved in a fight in the University Center with some members who fought and stabbed a student later that night after prowling the campus seeking retaliation.
ESU sent out an official email the day of the drug bust stating that the Monroe County DA’s Office was conducting a police operation and there was no risk to campus safety and students should proceed with their day as planned.
“These arrests illustrate ESU’s relentless effort to maintain a safe campus community,” ESU said in a follow-up email on Monday, Oct. 29. “ESU police maintain a strong collaborative and cooperative partnership with State Country and Local Law Enforcement agencies.”
But some students said they did not feel the safe and expressed confusion about the raid.
Samantha Bogert, senior, said she left her room on the fourth floor of Sycamore to throw out her trash around 9:45 a.m on that Friday. running and yelling.
“I just stood there after the door was kind of closing like, ‘What…did I just witness? Was this a training thing or an actual thing that was happening?’” she said.
Still, after the incident, she proceeded with her day as planned, she said.
After talking to her friends, she concluded that the incident was just police training.
Later that night, around 7 p.m., she went on WFMZ.com and found out there was a drug bust in Sycamore.
“I found out everything through the news and then we got the email,” she said.
Bogert criticized the university and campus police’s response time.
“When it comes to this entire drug situation, there should of definitely been a lot more involvement. Those kids should have not been on campus at all.”
Senior Ben Ace said, overall, he does feel safe on campus, but within the past few semesters, he started to question that safety.
“When stuff like this — the drug bust, the stabbing or even the pizza delivery guy shooting that happened last fall — when you hear about that, you’re just like, ‘Oh, am I really that safe?’”
According to Ace, this feeling of being unsafe stems from the lack of proper communication from the university. Students did not receive an official ESU email with information about the drug bust until Monday, three days after the operation. By that point, the story was already floating around local news outlets.
Ace said the story was sent to him by his father.
“This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t find out about this from my concerned parent,” he said.
Ace compares the lack of communication to an incident at Lenape Hall a few weeks ago. According to Ace, there were officers and firefighters in the building, but no information was given to residents.
“If I see people in uniform in my building, I want to know what’s happening,” he said. “They never sent out an email.”
Turns out, a student was stuck in an elevator, said Ace, but he did not find out until his father sent him a post written by the local fire department with details of the incident.
“I think the administration needs to be more transparent with us,” Ace said. “[Campus Police] have a small jurisdiction so why can’t they be more involved and more personal? This is a small enough community. You would think that could work. I feel that that is what a lot of people are looking for.”
According to Bogert, her RA told her and other residents that there will be security officers roaming the halls but has yet to see any of them.
“[Nothing] has been done about it,” she said. “At this point, even if you go to an RA they’ll say something, they’ll do something but it’s still not stopping anything.”
Since this is an active investigation, university relations said they are not able to comment at this time. The University did not respond in time for questions about campus safety or if the three arrested students will still attend ESU.
All three students are being held at Monroe County Correctional facility with a pending preliminary hearing date.
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