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Students charged in drug bust

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | November 17th, 2008



Seven Fanshawe students were charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana last week, just steps away from college doors.

On Thursday, November 6, at approximately 11:30 am, London Police Drug Section searched a home on Thurman Circle. It was in that residence where officers seized 5,397 grams of marijuana, valued at approximately $53,970, and $1635 in currency.

The following males have been arrested.

Fanshawe College students Colin Mertens, 20, Kenneth Wells, 20, Adam Vanderpoele, 20, Matthew Gladu, 20, were all charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Scott Devos, 20, and Kyle Vanheughten, 19, were both charged with two counts of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Julian Aveiro, 19, was charged with the possession of marijuana.

Kenneth Wells, Adam Vanderpoele and Matthew Gladu were also additionally charged with the possession of marijuana.

“Drugs are all over the city and not concentrated in just one place. A marijuana grow operation for example can be found in nice neighbourhoods and all over the city,” said Constable Amy Phillipo of London Police Services.

Being charged with the possession and trafficking of marijuana can have penalties that can last a lifetime.

“If someone is convicted of the charges at court they will have a criminal record for life. They can apply for a pardon if they wish, but there are certain parameters that have to be met in order to have the criminal charge pardoned,” added Phillipo.

Marijuana use is not only occurring in residences, but also on school grounds, according to research.

College campuses across the board have set policies when dealing with such matters.

According to Ed Pimentel, Manager of campus security at Fanshawe College, the Fanshawe College Code of Conduct would apply and sanctions would be contingent upon circumstances and impact the college community.

Whether drugs are used in a private residence or on campus, they are illegal and consequences will follow if a person is found guilty.

According to Mike Hall, a Manager at the Out Back Shack at Fanshawe College, drugs of any kind will not be tolerated here and precautions will be taken accordingly.

For years, research states, schools have executed search warrants to search premises if there was suspicion of drugs or drug use on campus.

Canines are rarely used, but there have been incidents where they are necessary and are brought in for further investigation.

“The decision to have a drug dog on campus to do a random search is not one that should be taken lightly,” Pimentel said. “There has been a recent case which addresses this issue. In our campus environment, there are other avenues for which drug search and seizure may occur under the law and we would be more apt to undertake this avenue.”

“As for attending Fanshawe many times regarding drugs…the problem is all over the city and not just over there [Fanshawe],” said Phillipo. “We don't arrest the number of persons arrested that are students. We arrest persons with drugs who are students and then we arrest persons who are not students. It's a variety.”

Across the board, more and more students are taking part in something that researchers say may soon become legalized.

According to London Police:

- For trafficking marijuana it's an indictable offence and liable up to imprisonment for life.

- For possession is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day and is also guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and for the first offence, a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.

- For a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both. Charged with another offence relating to drugs and will keep that in mind during sentencing.
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