State Charges Suspended for 2 Arrested in Wesleyan “Molly” Overdoses

The state of Connecticut has suspended the case charging two former Wesleyan University students in a spate of synthetic drug overdoses at the university in February.

Eleven people, including 10 Wesleyan students became ill, and some were hospitalized one weekend in late February after taking a drug that was presented as Molly, a popular name for the euphoria-inducing stimulant MDMA. The drug actually contained  "Spice" or "K2," U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly previously announced.

Zachary Kramer, 21, of Bethesda, Maryland, and Eric Lonergan, 22, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were arrested on federal charges in May in connection to the case.

Lonergan and Kramer, along with three other Wesleyan students, were arrested earlier this year on local charges tied to the incident. But the state prosecutor entered a nolle for the state-level charges, suspending the local cases, because federal and state authorities came to the agreement that the charges against them are more significant than state charges so their cases should be handled at the federal level, according to the Middletown Superior Court clerk's office.  

Each of the students obtained what they thought was "Molly" from people who got it from Kramer, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Federal officials previously said this was not the first time the students became sick after buying synthetic drugs. The symptoms reported were similar to symptom students reported in September after taking drugs from the students, officials said.

After the February overdoses, one student presented Middletown police with a capsule she had bought from Lonergan in September. Test results showed it did not contain "Molly" and instead contained "Spice" or "K2," according to Daly.

Lonergan and Kramer are accused of distributing the controlled substances that caused the overdoses.

"Wesleyan remains deeply concerned about the events that occurred this past February as well as the broader problem of drug abuse. All of the students arrested in the February incident were promptly expelled from the University," a spokesperson for Wesleyan previously said." The University has fully and comprehensively cooperated with local, State and Federal authorities at each step of their investigation and it will continue to do so."

In November 2013, Lonergan started buying Molly and selling it to students from his dorm for around $200 per gram between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. most evenings, and counseling students on how to use it, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Officials started receiving calls for medical help from the Butterfield and Foss Hill dorms, as well as 200 High Street at 7:30 a.m., 8:21 a.m., 12:26 p.m., 1:21 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22, according to Middletown Fire Battalion Chief David Anderson said.

After school administrators sent out a campus-wide communication warning of the dangers of ingesting controlled substances like Molly, Lonergan responded by distributing a pamphlet instructing students on the use of psychedelic drugs, federal officials said. 

Kramer is accused of beginning to buy Molly from Lonergan and selling it to students at Wesleyan in 2014.

In early 2015, Kramer took over for Lonergan as the primary supplier of what he claimed to be "Molly," a Wesleyan and sold it to friends to sell, Daly said.

Several students were transported to Middlesex Hospital. LifeStar then transported two students to Hartford Hospital and an ambulance transported two more, according to police. Two of the four students were listed in critical condition, and two others were listed in serious condition.

Kramer and Lonergan have been charged with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute MDMA and AB Fubinaca. They are also charged with attempting to distribute MDMA and distributing AB Fubinaca, as well as distributing MDMA near a private college.

Lonergan and Kramer are due back in federal court in Hartford the morning of July 7.

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