Four UB students arrested for alleged drug ring in University Heights

Four UB students and three others have been arrested for operating an alleged drug ring out of their University Heights home. On Friday night, Buffalo Police seized $64,000 in cash, 9 pounds of marijuana, 8 ounces of ecstasy and a half-ounce of cocaine from 51 W. Northrup Place.

Andrew Pawluk, a media study major; Anthony Argiros, a geography major; Mark Harding, a school of management student; and Ruben Abramov, a sociology major - along with non-UB students Brennon Hall, Joseph Mruk and Jonathan Ho - were charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance and use of drug paraphernalia.

They may also face more severe federal drug charges, according to the The Buffalo News.

The students are scheduled to go to Buffalo City Court on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. for an attorney appearance and felony hearing with Judge Craig Hannah, according to a City Hall clerk. Bail will be set by the Superior Court.

The students living in the home may be affiliated with an off-campus fraternity, according to an anonymous student.

Buffalo Police Spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said the police are investigating if the students are involved in a fraternity.

University Heights is within city police jurisdiction, and University Police have no further information on the incident, according to University Chief of Police Gerald Schoenle.

Northeast District Officers Robert Becerril and Christina Colosimo searched the student's rented home after they first issued a parking ticket for a vehicle parked the wrong way in front of the residence. The officers told the owner to move the vehicle just before 11 p.m. Forty-five minutes later, the officers found the car still illegally parked, according to The Buffalo News.

The officers walked to the back of the house to find of the owner of the vehicle. They saw an open door with a view of the living room and looked through it and saw drugs and money. They then obtained a search warrant and arrested the individuals.

UB Spokesman John Della Contrada said, generally speaking, when there is a serious violation of UB's code of conduct, a student is suspended. He said the Student-Wide Judiciary has the power to impose a sanction, including recommended suspension or expulsion.

BPD added additional patrols in the university district when school began late this summer and added even more patrols last weekend in response to recent student rowdiness, according to DeGeorge.

DeGeorge said crime overall in the university district hasn't been particularly high, besides two incidents in early September that could be tied to fraternity rivalries.