• 43°

Feds say UNC fraternity members were part of drug ring

By Tom Foreman Jr.

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM  — Fraternity members at North Carolina’s flagship school were part of a drug trafficking ring that for years funneled huge quantities of drugs into three college campuses, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Twenty-one people have been charged in connection to the ring following an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Greensboro said in a news release.

The illegal drug activity involved chapters of Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Beta Theta Pi fraternities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between 2017 and the spring of 2020, according to court filings.

Over several years, the drug ring funneled more than a half-ton of marijuana, several hundred kilograms of cocaine and significant quantities of other drugs into UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University and Appalachian State University, prosecutors said.

The suspects range in age from 21 to 35, with the majority being in their mid-twenties. It’s unclear how many are or were students at any of those three schools.

“I want to make it very clear: This is not the situation where you have single users — where you have a 19-year-old sipping a beer or you have someone who is taking a puff of a joint on the back porch of a frat house,” U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin said at a news conference, according to The News & Observer of Raleigh. “These are 21 hardened drug dealers.”

In an emailed statement on Thursday afternoon, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said none of the suspects are currently enrolled UNC students, but said the school “will remain vigilant” in combating illegal drug use.

“The University is committed to working with law enforcement to fully understand the involvement of any university individuals or organizations so that disciplinary action can be taken,” Guskiewicz said.

Court documents said investigators used information from sources and defendants as well as undercover purchases and surveillance to determine the suspects were shipping cocaine from California via the U.S. Postal Service and moving marijuana by motor vehicles.

Comments

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget