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How the police busted a college drug scene

Young cops blended into fraternity houses at San Diego State and netted 75 students.

May 07, 2008|Tony Perry | Times Staff Writer

A publication produced by the university's public relations department that recently lauded Ciaccio as a model student was taken off its website Tuesday.

Although the investigation was widely praised in San Diego, the nationwide group Drug Policy Alliance blasted it as "sensationalistic" and futile. The group believes in the decriminalization of marijuana and favors increased drug education and treatment over mass arrests.

"College students on any campus in this country are easy pickings," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, the group's deputy state director for Southern California. "But these types of arrests are not the best use of the DEA's resources. They should be targeting large-scale traffickers and distributors."

According to the DEA, the seized evidence included 4 pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, 48 hydroponic marijuana plants, 350 Ecstasy pills, 30 vials of hash oil, methamphetamine, psilocybin (mushrooms), various illicit prescription drugs, a shotgun, three semiautomatic pistols, three brass knuckles and $60,000 in cash.

Officials put the value of the seized drugs at more than $100,000. They said the marijuana was high-grade and probably grown locally because marijuana smuggled from Mexico is usually of a lower quality.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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