This week, one of the five Columbia University students who were charged with selling drugs on campus in December 2010 was sentenced by a Manhattan court to five years probation. 21-year-old Adam Klein was sentenced after he agreed to a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance in January 2012. According to the agreement, if Klein completes his term of probation without any problems, the charge will be expunged from his record. Klein initially faced a prison term of up to 2 1/2 years.
In a statement read before the court, Klein, who is no longer a student at Columbia University, apologized to classmates and professors. He stated that he realized that his behavior was unacceptable and brought needless negative attention to Columbia. The former neuroscience and behavior major and fencing team competitor now attends the City University of New York. He also works as a tutor.
The five arrests were part of a New York City police sting operation during which narcotics officers purchased more than $10,000 worth of drugs from Columbia University students. Most of the drug sales took place inside three fraternity houses, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Psi Upsilon. All of the students charged with drug sales and the three fraternity houses where drug sales purportedly took place were suspended from the school. The fraternities are currently on university required three-year improvement plans.
Previously, three of the other students charged pled guilty and another, 21-year-old Christopher Coles, was allowed to enter into a pretrial rehabilitation program for drug addiction. The drug treatment program is part of a 2009 reform of New York’s drug laws which provides state judges with the discretion to send some nonviolent criminals to rehabilitation in lieu of prison. Although Klein and two other students asked to enter the program, their requests were rejected. Three drug suppliers who did not attend the university also pled guilty in 2011.
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Rutgers Dorm Spying Trial Begins, New York Criminal Defense Attorney Blog, March 2, 2012
Guilty Plea In Westchester County Airport Drug Distribution Case, New York Criminal Defense Attorney Blog, February 27, 2012
Columbia Student Klein Granted Probation in New York City Drug-Sale Case, by Ian Thomas, Bloomberg Businessweek