Katie Greifeld contributed to this report.
Two Haverford students have been arrested and charged in connection to an investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for widespread distribution of drugs at area high schools and colleges, the DA announced in a press release Monday.
The leaders of the drug ring, dubbed the “Main Line Take Over Project” were two graduates of The Haverford School, an all-male high school across from Haverford College.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer:
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said that Neil K. Scott, 25, of Haverford, and Timothy C. Brooks, 18, of Villanova, employed high school students at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools and college students at Haverford, Gettysburg and Lafayette Colleges to peddle their wares.
Scott and Brooks allegedly ran the ring like a business, demanding their subdealers move at least a pound of marijuana a week and giving them incentives, in the form of cheaper prices on drugs and the ability to buy them on credit, according to court documents.
“It was a business, an illegal business, but they were using very traditional business practices,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
Two Haverford College freshmen, Garrett Johnson and Reid Cohen, were also charged for their alleged involvement as sub-dealers, according to a press release by the DA’s Office.
From the press release:
From February 28, 2014 to April 9, 2014, detectives executed multiple search warrants and evidence of this drug trafficking organization was seized at 9 locations in the Pennsylvania Counties of Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Northampton, Adams, and Philadelphia, including the homes of Neil Scott and Timothy Brooks. In total, the following items of significance were seized during the course of this investigation:
Approximately 8 pounds of marijuana; 3 grams of hash oil; 23 grams of cocaine; 11 grams of MDMA; $11,035.00 in U.S. Currency; 1 loaded .223 caliber AR-15 Assault Rifle; 1 loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol; 1 .22 caliber AR-15 style rifle; Additional .22 caliber, .223 caliber and 9mm ammunition; A 2007 Toyota 4 Runner sport utility vehicle; A 2009 Acura RDX sport utility vehicle; 8 cellular phones; 1 computer; Equipment and supplies used to manufacture butane hash oil; Numerous items of drug paraphernalia.
Director of Campus Safety Thomas King confirmed in an email April 11 that members of the DA’s Office had visited campus that week as part of an ongoing investigation but that “they did not share the nature or scope of their investigation with us,” King wrote. “Naturally, we asked them, but they politely declined to share any details with us at this time.”
After the news broke Monday, King and Dean of the College Martha Denney wrote an email to students acknowledging investigation of “illegal activity” at Haverford.
As many of you are no doubt aware, Haverford College, as well as
several other local educational institutions, has been the subject of
an investigation of, and publicity about, illegal activity involving
some of our students. We want to reassure you that our primary concern
is your safety and well-being, and that further information will be
forthcoming as it becomes available. If you have concerns about your
own well-being or that of anyone else on campus, please do not
hesitate to be in touch with Campus Safety, CAPS, or your dean. All of
these services are available 24 hours through our on-call system,
accessible by calling Campus Safety 610-896-1111.
With our best wishes,
Martha Denney, Dean of the College
Tom King, Director of Campus Safety
Defendants had preliminary arraignments Monday at noon. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant District Attorney Tonya Lupinacci and Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley.
Maybe instead of trying to publicly humiliate students by calling them out and excessively tweeting about a situation in which all the facts are not known, The Clerk should refrain from perpetuating harmful representations of Haverford students that bait people to gossip.
Because reporting on criminal activity in the community is just a bunch of idle gossip, right?
There is a difference between simply reporting and excessively promoting a story that is aimed at shaming students before all the information has been presented. It’s respectful to give people the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are known, not tearing down fellow students just to generate “juicy” content.
What about the promotion was excessive? It was just shared on the Haverford Clerk and Bi-College news Facebook pages, as are many other articles at these publications. Not to mention, this is all over the local news. And their names are down in the public record. No one is saying that they’re definitely guilty, but they are currently suspected of doing these things. It’s not gossip, it’s just the facts.
It seems that reporting information related to Haverford is sort of the point of a student newspaper. Additionally, this is verified and on public record.
I feel like the identity of the students involved should NOT be in this article. People are entitled to their dignity, and it is entirely un-Haverfordian to report about something like this without at least preserving the anonymity of the students involved. There is a reason why all of our abstracts use pseudonyms.
The accused students’ names were already released by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office and by many media outlets before the Clerk posted this article.
Furthermore, let’s not pretend that this is something that should be dealt with through an Honor Council trial and a subsequent abstract release. Cheating on a test isn’t a criminal activity, even if it is prohibited by the Haverford Honor Code. However, allegedly dealing thousands of dollars worth of illegal drugs every week is a criminal offense.
The Pennsylvania judiciary > Honor Council. These allegations are a lot more serious than the subject matter of almost any Haverford abstract.
I don’t think anyone is pretending that this situation is anything like an Honor Council trial. However, I am shocked that so many Haverford students are so quick to reject these two students from our community. They are accused of criminal activity, yes, but frankly it is our responsibility as members of this college to extend respect and support to them as well as their friends and families. Because this is such a serious case, as you have pointed out, we should be even more careful with our allegations and assumptions. These boys have friends who deeply care about them on campus. It is tactless to disclose their identities in a school newspaper as it is insensitive to call them criminals as you have done. Can’t you see how your language alone has severely altered and exaggerated the way in which these students are depicted? This is when news turns into gossip. You are portraying these boys as criminals not worthy of our support and sympathy when you don’t know who they are and you don’t know all the facts. Please think about what you say before you say it, and think about how it can have a negative impact on such a sensitive issue.
The Clerk should have referred to this Main Line drug ring as the “pastel cartel.” It was, after all, mastermind by “well-dressed” graduates of THE Haverford School (that fashion information came from the Inquirer).
No, gossip is “so and so hooked up with so and so last weekend.” This is the definition of news.
I think you misunderstand the meaning of the word “gossip”
It is important that we respect the privacy and trauma of those involved, their friends, and the broader Haverford community. There needs to be a way to discuss this issue in a way that spreads information, rebuilds a sense of security on campus, as well as extends compassion for the mutual humanity and place in this community of all those involved.
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy for an adult charged with criminal behavior. As the District Attorney rightly stated, these young men are accused – based on probable cause – of injecting poison into the lifeblood of our communities. Part of holding them accountable for their toxic, criminal behavior is not allowing them to hide behind the shield of anonymity. Any compassionate response must include that anonymity, for their own good and for the good of the community.
I am not calling for anonymity and I am certainly calling for accountability, but not just on the part of those directly involved. Passing such judgment on two young men who got in over their heads, made mistakes, and are rightfully being punished for it is the real toxic in this community. Restoration and accountability cannot be one-sided for the community to heal and I think we need to look at the larger structures and failures that have contributed to their bad decisions as much as we hold those involved accountable for their actions.
I really hope you’re equally impassioned about the unjust number of poor people and people of color that face constant police surveillance and get wrapped up in the criminal system due to “larger structures and failures,” not just students on the Main Line “in over their heads.”
I absolutely feel the same way and I should have mentioned it as an integral part of my frustrations. In one article a spokesperson of the Lower Merion School District said that “Lower Merion and the Main Line are not immune to these kinds of issues.” The drug bust would not be getting nearly as much coverage were it not for the location and the backgrounds of those involved, which implies a completley inaccurate otherness of drugs in white, suburban communities. The punishments will very likely be less severe than if those involved were not white, from wealthy or middle class backgrounds, and able to access good legal counsel.
The immense privilege of all involved must be recognized as the community moves forward. Part of a discussion of the failures of Haverford and the Customs program in this particular case must also address the much larger issue of the manner in which Customs and Haverford so regularly fail students of color and other less privileged individuals on campus.
3.73 times more because they use it 8.7 times more. Your phony logic is antiquated. Go read the 2 research studies done on the “alleged” profiling for speeding. The results : they’re stopped more because they speed more. Stop your liberal obamian lies.
The alleged, despicable behaviors of these two students is what put them in a “vulnerable and humiliating position.” Holding adults accountable for their actions is not a denial of their dignity.
I really hope those looking out for their fellow classmates are equally impassioned about the unjust number of poor people and people of color that face constant police surveillance, get wrapped up in the criminal system, and are locked in cages due to “larger structures and failures,” not just students on the Main Line “in over their heads.”
Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana use. Police surveillance has created in ghettos an environment woven in suspicion, distrust, and the paranoiac practices of secrecy, evasion, and unpredictability. For those familiar with this history and context, it’s hard not to look at the situation unfolding on the Main Line without feeling some, although twisted, sense of justice.
Is it not possible that marijuana use is simply more prevalent, and more engrained, in the black community? You seem to be making an unwarranted assumption that members of all communities commit the same crimes at more or less the same rates. Disparities in arrest rates might reflect disparities in crime rates.
Scroll to figure 2.12
The differences are not 3.73 times greater…
No. The disparity in both arrest and crime rate is due to high levels of police surveillance, the criminalization of being poor, and racial profiling policies like stop-and-frisk.
Despite the pronounced disparities in arrest rates of whites and Blacks for marijuana possession, rates of marijuana use and non-use between whites and Blacks are roughly equal. Therefore, the wide racial disparities in marijuana possession arrest rates cannot be explained by differences in marijuana usage rates between whites and Blacks. Among all age groups since 2001, use by Blacks of marijuana in the past 12 months is slightly higher than use by Whites. In 2010, for instance, 14.0% of Blacks and 11.6% of whites reported using marijuana in the past year. In 2009, reported use of marijuana in the past year was 12.4% for Blacks and 11.7% for whites. In 2001, 9.8% of whites and 9.3% of Blacks reported using marijuana over the past year.
Every year between 2001 and 2010, among 18- to 25-year-olds — a group with higher arrest rates generally than other age brackets — more whites than Blacks had used marijuana in the previous 12 months. In 2010, for instance, among 18- to 25-year-olds, 33.4% of whites and 27.6% of Blacks reported using marijuana in the past year
Racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests are widespread and exist in every region in the country. In the Northeast and Midwest, Blacks are over four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. In the South, Blacks are over three times more likely, and in the West, they are twice more likely. In over one-third of the states, Blacks are more than four times likelier to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.
More phony obamian lies. Go read the results of the 2 research studies that were done to test the lies that blacks were being profiled for speeding on the Jersey Turnpike–ie stopped more. The results, at both the north end as well as the south end of the turnpike, blacks were speeding more so they got stopped more!!duh!!
We’ve listened to lies about “black victimization” for well over a half-century. The past 6 years of socialist lies coming out of DC are starting to enlighten the gullible fools who believe this non-sense —despite all of the media cover-ups and the trillions of dollars of giveaway programs from taxpayers—who are the real victims.
Haverford College in the NY Times again !
Given the vagueness of Dean Denney’s email, I think the Clerk’s synthesis of the news stories that are out there is appropriate and do believe this story is very much Haverford news- as someone mentioned in the comments earlier, these are our classmates, teammates, and peers. Their actions affect our community.
That being said, I was saddened to see the students’ names and photos in the public news in general, let alone here. While we as a community should not condone involvement in these types of activities, we owe our classmates, teammates, and peers respect and support through what is going to be an extremely difficult time in their lives. I wish, even if you abhorrently disagree with their actions, that everyone will be empathetic to the students involved and show them our support.
How dare Wikipedia deprive Nelson Mandela of his dignity by putting him in such a vulnerable and humiliating position?
But seriously, the point I’m trying to make is that the mere fact that someone got arrested does not, in and of itself, determine how we think of them, whether they’re a human rights leader, or a teenager selling drugs. All Thy and Katie did here was to find out some facts about a thing that happened and write them down.The article takes no position on whether selling marijuana is moral or immoral, wise or foolish. Hell, it doesn’t even take a position on whether these kids are innocent or guilty. People might rally around these kids in support, or they might condemn them. But either way, it will be because of those people’s beliefs, not because of the reporting here.
Thank you desk.
Don, a professional journalistic colleague as well as a former classmate (I got out of here a year ahead of him, class of ’77, and we were both on the staff of the BMC-H’ford News) has hit the nail exactly on the head. When we were students, the major unwritten rule associated with the Honor Code is that whatever you did on campus, at the very least it should not involve, *ever*, anything that would bring the cops onto campus. These two students, while innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, certainly violated that standard of conduct, regardless of motive or whether or not what they were doing was actually a service to the community, as one correspondent proposed above. Once their names are a matter of public record, it is hypocritical to suggest that any form of media, print, broadcast or online, withhold those names out of respect for their privacy or their putative relationship to their classmates. That ship has sailed. Nor do I see anything in the posting in the Clerk (a new institution since my day, one of which I was previously unaware, and something of which I approve) that is distinctly aimed at shaming the two students involved; it reports the facts of the case with quotations from other sources but without speculation and without passing judgment. That’s what modern-day journalism is supposed to be all about.
Quoting from news articles, including the names of the accused, was appropriate. I agree with “guest” and others that passing judgement on those accused (particularly those in the Haverford community) before all the facts are known is not.
Most reading this likely remember the Duke lacrosse team rape case. Many serious allegations were made, but the major, truly illegal ones, turned out to be untrue. In the meantime, people lost their jobs, scholarships and semesters at school primarily because many in positions of power rushed to judgement too fast and before all the facts were known.
If there is one college that can learn the right lessons from the current debacle, it is my alma mater. The way to start is through respectful discussion (which in large part is what I see in the other comments to this article). Members of the Haverford Community owe at least this much to each other (INCLUDING those accused), regardless of whether any of this ultimately rises to the point of being an Honor Code violation.
This sad news affords a rich opportunity over this and the next school year for the current students to help Haverford decide what (if any) changes should be made regarding the use and sale of illegal substances. For example, at what point does one pass from being just another student who uses or sells drugs or alcohol, to someone whose actions cannot or should not be tolerated? And what if I am 21 and hail from Colorado?
There are no easy answers, but I look forward to learning what the Haverford students and administration decide.
(And hello Eric. You and I were classmates. Your post emboldened me to follow suit. So for anyone who is irritated by my post, blame Eric!)
The whole Duke thing was created by Al Sharpton (who visited the White House to “advise” president Obama at least 80 times in 2014 alone). This was created by the democrat/liberal communist/race-baiting party (just like their Tawana Brawley lies) to create black victimization fairy tales –when all victims were white. Get some honesty ; get real.
What do you mean by “full support?” Helping them find jobs through a work release program when they have served their sentences?
These are not children, they are adults who knowingly engaged in felonious activity – activity that is nearly always linked to guns, hard drugs, large sums of money, and organized drug rings/gangs. If, indeed, nearly all of the Haverford students are using illegal drugs then they need to look closely at the underground world of violence and exploitation they are supporting.
And that doesn’t even address the damage their product does to the minds of the members of the Haverford community. These accused felons profited off of the harm they did to their peers, however consensual it might have been.
I read through this again, and realized that I did not give a comprehensive reply:
1. “… than what they were actually involved in.” Seriously? They’re alleged felony drug dealers, and you think they did not know that the poison they were peddling was coming from an organized drug ring that trafficked in other poisons and in deadly weapons? By choosing to commit these crimes, they were involved in the entire web of destructive, criminal behaviors that supported their profiteering.
2. “…a large majority of our community is demanding?” Are there statistics to back this up? Generally, when reliable research is performed about dangerous on-campus behaviors – binge drinking, drug use, etc. – there is a perception among those who participate that “everyone does it,” but often the facts don’t substantiate that perception. I am sure that a portion of the Haverford community is stupid enough to damage their brains at the same time they’re in an environment meant to challenge them intellectually. I am nevertheless skeptical that a “large majority” “demands” it. If, in fact, they do, then it’s fortunate that there is an adult law enforcement community present to compensate for their poor judgement.
When someone is accused of a serious offense, their name is published. This is common procedure. The Clerk is following normal journalistic practice. Why is this a conversation?
Not to mention the fact that this case involves weapons. The Clerk is doing a public service by informing community members of the allegations and defendants.
I find it a sad day when a student from Haverford College is allowed to be named in Public like this. Many of us are sad that a newspaper has chosen to take the freedom of these students to remain private just for the sentimentalization of news. Haverford College is a PRIVATE school, not some public school that anyone can get into, so I hope this site along with others retracts their names as a sign of support.
These two are probably working on Wall Street by now!