Jenna Pilipovich, Staff Writer

Three Miami University students have been arrested in Oxford on counts of drug trafficking, among other charges. Evan Gregory, John Lincoln, and Kwasi Yeboah were three of the five men arrested April 17 at the culmination of a several-month-long investigation undertaken by the Butler Undercover Regional Narcotics (BURN) task-force through the Butler County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). The three sophomore business students have all posted bail, according to BSCO.

Gregory and Lincoln were charged with one count trafficking each. Yeboah was charged with two counts trafficking and one count possession, according to Sergeant Hackney of the BURN task-force.

The BURN task-force bases their investigations off of their own proactive surveillance or any problem brought to their attention, Hackney said. He declined to comment on whether a tip led to this particular investigation.

Hackney said the uniqueness of this situation lies in an officer’s presence at the time and place drugs were purchased. Drug trafficking cases rarely go to trial because an officer rarely witnesses the actual act of purchase, according to Hackney.

“Not every day an officer is present during the committing of felonies,” Hackney said.

Drugs were trafficked and subsequently seized from two Oxford residences: 100 W. Sycamore St. and 521 Lincoln St. Gregory and Lincoln lived at the former address, Yeboah at the latter.

Yeboah and two other male subjects were arrested at the Lincoln St. address, according to Hackney. Gregory and Lincoln were arrested at the Sycamore St. residence.

According to Hackney, an undercover BURN officer’s involvement in a drug deal led to the search warrants of the two properties and eventually the arrests.

After executing the warrants and searching the two properties, the BURN task-force found five pounds of marijuana along with substantial quantities of molly, hash butter, THC suckers, mushrooms, and $10,000 in cash, according to Hackney.

“You know when you go into a house and find $10,000 in cash, that’s not typical,” Hackney said.

The investigation and arrests were carried out by the BCSO, with local support from the Oxford Police Department (OPD).

“The City of Oxford played a supporting role for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office,” OPD Sergeant Gregory Moore said. “We were there for man power because the more you have, the less likely there will be complications. We were there to watch their backs and help with the issue.”

According to Susan Vaughn, director of the office of ethics and student conflict resolution, Miami is in charge of its students actions even if they are off-campus.

“[Miami’s] jurisdiction [of its pupils] is on and off-campus, so anything can be reported to the university,” Vaughn said.

Under Miami’s Student Code of Conduct, any usage of alcohol or illegal substances constitutes a code violation. Section 2.1F reads, “The use, offer for sale, sale, distribution, possession, or manufacture of any controlled substance or drug except as expressly permitted by law is prohibited.”

Consequences of violations vary on a case by case basis, according to Vaughn. Due to Student Affairs’ confidentiality policy and the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation, no case-specific comment has been released. Vaughn said she recommends reading the Code of Conduct.

Miami’s next steps are outlined in the Code of Conduct, section 2.1J, “The University will review any conduct reported by members of the University community, law enforcement personnel, or citizens as being in violation of the law. If in review the University determines, in its sole judgment, that the alleged conduct interferes with the University’s exercise of its mission, processes, or functions, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”

Sophomore Lindsey Sukeena said she is glad action was taken in this situation.

“The fact that they found that amount in one house is alarming,” Sukeena said. “I’m glad they arrested those who were involved and I think it’s important that they keep tracking down drug usage so that it doesn’t cause any more problems at Miami.”

Junior Drew Doggett expressed his disbelief.

“It’s amazing the lengths people will go in order to make money,” Doggett said.

Molly and marijuana are two drugs that are possibly at their peaks, according to Hackney. He said drug issues have been an ongoing problem and one cannot expect a society free of such issues.

“One of the big misconceptions is that [drug traffickers] are basically not viewed by some as criminals,” Hackney said. “A lot of crimes committed are drug induced and based on when you are involved in drugs you’re involved in money, greed, and other issues that go with it.”

Moore added that drug culture comes into play in every community. He said drugs lead to other crimes, like assault, theft and others. Drugs have no peak season, and throughout the year drug crimes are common, according to Hackney.

“We’re not going to change things overnight, but what we’ve got in place is making a stance,” Hackney said.

Comments