UPDATE: Students in alleged drug ring attend court
Four UB students and three others to have second hearing in October
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Four UB students went to Buffalo City Court on Thursday for an attorney appearance and felony hearing after police found $64,000 in cash, 9 pounds of marijuana, 8 ounces of ecstasy and a half-ounce of cocaine in their University Heights home – 51 W. Northrup Place.
Last Friday night, Andrew Pawluk, 21; Anthony Argiros, 22; Mark Harding, 21; and Ruben Abramov, 22 – along with non-UB students Brennon Hall, 25, Joseph Mruk, 25, and Jonathan Ho, 23 – were arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance and use of drug paraphernalia.
At court, the individuals were told to come back for a felony hearing on Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m. All persons have received bail except Hall and Mruk, who are still in jail.
Chief of University Police Gerald Schoenle said the BPD “pretty much put these kids out of business.”
The BPD also found business ledgers that kept track of the drug sales, indicating the drug circle was a “well-organized enterprise,” according to The Buffalo News.
Two students, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed the arrested students are in an off-campus fraternity.Affiliation with off-campus fraternities is a violation of the UB Student Code of Conduct and students who participate in them are at risk of suspension and/or expulsion, according to the Greek Affairs website.
BPD Spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said the police are still investigating whether the students were involved in a fraternity.
DeGeorge said he does not yet know what is going to happen to the students’ living situation, but generally if there is a problem in property or police action takes place at a certain address, the police can work with the landlord to evict residents if necessary.
Northeast District Officers Robert Becerril and Christina Colosimo arrested the individuals on Friday, Sept. 21. The city officers originally tagged a vehicle illegally parked in front of the W. Northrup Place home. When the car still wasn’t moved 45 minutes later, they walked to the back of the house, searching for the vehicle’s owner. The officers saw an open door with a view of the living room and through it saw drugs and money. They then obtained a search warrant.
The BPD has jurisdiction over South Campus’ surrounding streets; UPD, for the most part, does not. Because of its crime rate, the UPD began a joint bike control with BPD two years ago in an attempt to add more officers to Main Street.
Just last weekend, BPD increased patrol on Winspear Avenue because of two incidents in early September that could be tied to fraternity rivalries, according to DeGeorge.
One of the students who was arrested on Friday asked the officers if the drug charges would hurt his chances of getting into law school, according to The Buffalo News.
The BPD didn’t have an answer, but police believe the arrest will help restore order to the rowdiness in the University Heights, which occurs particularly in the beginning and end of the academic school year, according to The Buffalo News.