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Rising LSD Use, Assaults Led to U. of Virginia Raids, Chief Says

From The Washington Post

The Charlottesville police chief said Saturday that the raid at three University of Virginia fraternities came after an investigation found rising student use of LSD and other hallucinogens, drug-related sexual assaults and cases of students unknowingly being slipped drugs.

“LSD appears to be making a comeback,” said Police Chief John deK. Bowen. “I don’t want to make the U-Va. look any worse than any other university, because I don’t think it is. But I do think there is a seamier side.”

Bowen also said that one impetus for the investigation, which resulted in Thursday night’s raid and the indictment of 12 students, was black residents’ complaints that police vigorously prosecute inner-city crack dealers but turn a blind eye to students at the elite university founded by Thomas Jefferson.

The raid yielded 12 partially filled sandwich bags of marijuana, three bags of hallucinogenic mushrooms, two sets of scales, a marijuana growing system and 42 pipes. Bowen said the raid was not a case of police chasing “one ounce of pot.” Rather, he said, it was a case of regular and rising drug use.

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As students attending the 172-year-old school talked of little Saturday besides their 12 classmates indicted on drug charges, Bowen said the probe continues and more arrests may follow.

Since the raid, dozens of members of Delta Upsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Phi Epsilon Pi have signed rental agreements with the federal government, the new owner of the three houses. The government seized the off-campus houses, citing a federal law allowing the confiscation of assets involved in drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, Gov. L. Douglas Wilder issued a statement Saturday saying that the raid at the state’s premier school “clearly shows that in Virginia there are no havens for drug users.”

Eight of the 12 indicted students have been charged with between one and six counts of distributing illegal drugs and released on bond. Three more have contacted police and promised to turn themselves in Monday, police said. A 12th student, indicted for two counts of cocaine distribution, is still at large.

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