By ALLISON HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer
3 minutes ago
SAN DIEGO - Dozens of San Diego State University
students were arrested after a sweeping drug
investigation found that some fraternity members
openly dealt drugs and one even sent a mass text
message advertising cocaine, authorities said Tuesday.
Two kilograms of cocaine were seized, along with 350
Ecstasy pills, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, hash
oil, methamphetamine, illicit prescription drugs,
several guns and at least $60,000 in cash, authorities
Of the 96 people arrested, 75 were students. Eighteen
of the students were arrested Tuesday when nine search
warrants were executed at various locations including
fraternities, said Jesse Rodriguez, San Diego County
assistant district attorney.
The undercover probe, dubbed Operation Sudden Fall,
was sparked by the cocaine overdose death of a student
in May 2007, authorities said. As the investigation
continued, another student, from Mesa College, died
Feb. 26 of a cocaine overdose at an SDSU fraternity
house, the DEA said.
Those arrested included a student who was about to
receive a criminal justice degree and another who was
to receive a master's degree in homeland security.
Some defendants were scheduled to appear in state
court to face charges Tuesday.
During the probe investigators discovered that in some
fraternities most members were aware of "organized
drug dealing occurring from the fraternity houses by
its members," the Drug Enforcement Administration said
in a news release.
"Undercover agents purchased cocaine from fraternity
members and confirmed that a hierarchy existed for the
purpose of selling drugs for money," the DEA said.
The district attorney's office said search warrants
were served in San Diego and suburban La Mesa,
including the Theta Chi fraternity house and several
A member of Theta Chi sent out a mass text message to
his "faithful customers" stating that he and his
"associates" would be unable to sell cocaine while
they were in Las Vegas over one weekend, according to
the DEA. The text promoted a cocaine "sale" and listed
the reduced prices.
Theta Chi, founded in 1856, has 131 chapters in the
U.S. and Canada and more than 161,000 initiates. A
message left at the fraternity's Indianapolis
headquarters was not immediately returned.
University police and federal drug agents worked
together in the investigation, making more than 130
undercover drug buys were made at locations including
fraternity houses, student parking areas and
dormitories, authorities said.
Shawn Collinsworth, executive director of the national
office of Phi Kappa Psi, said he was told by two of
the SDSU fraternity chapter's leaders that four of its
members were arrested. He added the fraternity is
cooperating with the investigation.
"It isn't behavior becoming of Phi Kappa Psi,"
San Diego State is one of the largest schools in
California's state university system with about 34,000
students. The campus has an active network of
fraternities and sororities.