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Pretrial Diversion Denied for Two Columbia Students

A Columbia College student from New Jersey was denied entry into a pre-trial diversion program on December 13. The student, Adam Klein, was arrested for selling drugs on the New York City campus and is one of five persons charged in December 2010 after a five month investigation nicknamed "Operation Ivy League."

One other student, Jose Perez, was denied entry into the diversion program. Two others have pleaded guilty. Perez and Klein could face up to two and a half years in prison for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. A fifth student was approved by the judge for admission to the diversion program and will thus be able to avoid a criminal record if he completes the program successfully. Diversion programs were instituted as part of an effort to reform the so-called Rockefeller drug laws that impose stiff sentences for minor drug crimes.

The police officers involved in the investigation reported they spent $11,000 purchasing cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and LSD-laced candy. The purchases occurred mostly in the students' rooms and in the public areas of three fraternities.

The two students turned down plea bargain offers in June.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week, "Columbia Student Denied Pretrial Diversion in Drug Case", Dec, 16, 2011.

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