Four Miami students were arrested for dealing prescription drugs and cocaine. The arrests, which all occurred last week, were the result of a six-month investigation by the Butler County Undercover Regional Narcotics (BURN) taskforce.
Juniors Brett Balick and Eric de Winter and senior William Berg were all charged with trafficking in drugs at the F5 level. An F5 charge is the least severe felony charge. In Ohio, when dealing with cocaine, the F5 classification indicates 4 grams or less of the drug. Prison time is not presumed at this level.
Sophomore Roman Sembay was charged with possession of drugs at the F4 level (for cocaine, five to nine grams) and possession of drugs at the M1 level. M1 charges are the most severe misdemeanor charges. If Sembay pleads guilty to the F4 possession charge, prison time is not presumed.
The Oxford Police Department assisted the BURN taskforce and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in serving arrest and search warrants throughout the week. At least one of the arrests occurred on campus.
Balick, 21, is a business management major from Matthews, NC. The only previous charge filed against Balick through the Butler County Court is a noise violation from September 2016. Dewinter, Berg and Sembay have no previous charges in Butler County.
Berg, 22, is a political science and psychology student from Columbus, OH. De Winter is a 21-year-old art major from Rye, NY. Sembay, 19, is a mechanical engineering student from Strongsville, OH.
Claire Wagner, director of news and communications for the university, noted that students who break laws that also violate Miami’s standards of conduct may face discipline from the university as well as civil authorities.
Butler County’s BURN taskforce was formed to better utilize resources from multiple agencies including the Fairfield Township, Monroe, Oxford and West Chester police departments.
Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues.