A Columbia University engineering student who pleaded guilty to selling cocaine yesterday will be sentenced to six months in jail at Rikers Island and five years' probation, and will probably also be expelled from school, The New York Times reported today. Harrison David is the only student to be sentenced so far, out of the total of five arrested in December in an alleged Columbia drug trafficking ring that police busted in an investigation dubbed Operation Ivy League. The remaining four suspects, who face lesser charges, are trying to get drug treatment resolutions that could let them avoid jail. Police arrested the five after reportedly buying some $11,000 worth of "cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, Adderall and LSD, which the students applied to Altoids mints and SweetTarts candy," The Times reported in December. They allegedly worked in fraternity houses and residence halls.
On the Columbia student blog Bwog, commenters were split about evenly in defending David and condemning him. "Yes it was his fault for selling drugs. He was a college student caught fencing some coke. You cannot with a straight face sit there and label his actions as a mistake," one said. Another defended David: "As far as I know, he wasn’t adulterating his goods or selling to kids, so is it really worth branding him for life? Don’t expel him, Columbia... It’s not a university’s job to make moral judgments. It’s a university’s job to educate, so let this kid have his damn education."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.