Three of the four Wesleyan University students charged in the MDMA, or "Molly," overdoses that sent 11 of their peers to the hospital over the weekend were studying neuroscience, according to statements made in court Wednesday.
Wesleyan students Eric Lonergan, 21; Andrew Olson, 20; Zachary Kramer, 21; and Rama Agha Al Nakib, 20, were arrested on drug charges Tuesday and immediately suspended from the school pending a formal hearing. Police said none of the students arrested was among those hospitalized.
Lonergan, Kramer and Nakib appeared in court Wednesday. Olson, founder and co-president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Wesleyan, posted bond following his arrest and is due in court next week.
Of the students who overdosed, one is still receiving treatment at Hartford Hospital as of Thursday afternoon, according to Middletown police. Officials declined to comment on the patient's conditions, citing privacy concerns.
"The University takes allegations of the distribution of drugs seriously and is cooperating with state and local officials," Wesleyan University President Michael Roth said in a statement Tuesday night. "We will do everything we can to make our community as safe as possible."
The charges are as follows:
- Lonergan has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and 16 counts of illegally obtaining or supplying drugs.
- Olson was charged with two counts of possession of a hallucinogen, sale of a hallucinogen, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Kramer was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a regulated substance and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana.
- Nakib has been charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Middletown Police Chief William McKenna said all four students were in custody by 8 p.m. Tuesday, adding that police searched "certain locations in and around the campus" to collect evidence.
According to the warrants for their arrest, investigators searching the homes of Lonergan, Kramer and Nakib didn't find MDMA – but they did find other drugs, including 610 Xanax pills in Nakib's room, 516 pills of 16 types at Lonergan's home and 197 nitrous oxide cartridges at Kramer's residence.
All three students were known to deal drugs among their peers, according to the warrants.
Investigators are also working to identify chemicals included in the MDMA that sickened students on Sunday.
Police have been working to find out how the drug got to campus and believe they've identified the source of the "Molly," which they said is information that could help the ill students recover.
A spokesperson for the university said Wesleyan is taking steps to keep students both informed and safe.
"The drug ‘Molly’ is widespread and becoming increasingly more prevalent on college campuses nationwide. Following the student hospitalizations in September, Wesleyan's Health Services Department emailed information to all students warning about the dangers of the drug," Lauren Rubenstein, Associate Manager of Public Relations at Wesleyan, said in a statement Tuesday.
Doctors call MDMA a designer amphetamine that users take to feel euphoric.