Alleged drug use, drinking dampers Ohio State ski trip
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 00:01
A seven-hour search for drugs wasn’t part of the plan for Ohio State students headed to Aspen, Colo., for their annual winter break ski trip.
The trip to Colorado took longer than expected after three buses carrying OSU Ski and Snowboard Club members were pulled over in Indiana on Dec. 14 and searched after a bus driver reported that there was drinking and illegal drug use taking place on the bus.
With winter break over, some students who received citations from police in Indiana have returned to OSU, where they might face further consequences.
Student Conduct, part of The Office of Student Life, is conducting an investigation on the Ski and Snowboard Club members after several students were charged with citations including minor possession of alcohol, minor consumption of an alcoholic beverage, possession of a false government document and possession of marijuana when three buses were stopped at a Pilot Flying J truck stop in Spiceland, Ind.
“Henry County Deputy Jordan Pruett had three full-size buses stopped,” said Indiana State Excise Police Officer Brandon Dean Reynolds in the Indiana Excise Police Citation Report. “Pruett informed me that the driver of one of the buses had contacted his department and advised of underage alcohol consumption and illegal drug use on the bus. Pruett further informed me that K-9 had given a positive indication of controlled substances on all three buses,” the report said.
The K-9 units found marijuana, LSD, psychedelic mushrooms and about $12,000 in cash in their search, according to the police report. Alcohol was also found. There were more than 40 misdemeanor citations. There were 20 individuals, by summons, for various misdemeanor violations, and those individuals were released from the scene after signing a promise to appear. Four individuals were arrested by the Proactive Criminal Enforcement Team and members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on felony possession charges according to the police report. The case is still pending at this time.
Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said no university funds were used for the trip to Aspen, and Student Life is investigating further.
“Student Life Department of Student Conduct is currently conducting an investigation. The investigation will be fair and thorough,” Isaacs said.
A first-year in international studies who requested anonymity because the incident is under investigation, said she did not see anyone actually smoking marijuana on the bus prior to arriving at the Pilot Flying J.
“I didn’t see anyone smoking,” said the first-year in international studies. “You could smell it because we were in such a confined space, but I think they were just rolling the weed.”
The first-year in international studies also said the bus driver told people on the bus before leaving Columbus that he did not care what people on the bus did on the bus except they were not permitted to smoke.
The report also confirmed there was drinking on the bus.
“There were some people drinking,” said a first-year in pre-business, who was granted anonymity by The Lantern. “There were beers and Jell-O shots.”
The occupants of the buses were removed and identified as their bags were searched. While verifying the identity of each person, multiple subjects were found to be under the age of 21 and consuming or in possession of alcohol and controlled substances, according to the police report.
“(The police) lined us all up and said if you have any sort of drugs and you brought it out you wouldn’t get in trouble,” said the first-year in pre-business. “Several people started to come forward and admit, and (the police) started asking for names if they found something in your carry-on.”
After some people admitted to having weed, the officers made everyone get on the bus one at a time and searched the Aspen-bound skiers, said the first-year in international studies.
“After that long process they (officers) took suitcases out from under the bus and called us over one at a time and took everything out of our suitcases and searched through jean pockets,” said the first-year in international studies.
Because the buses were traveling in groups of three the other groups of buses continued on to Aspen.
“You travel in groups of buses so mine and two other buses were pulled over. In total, I think there were maybe eight or nine buses,” said the first-year in pre-business. “It was my bus for the majority of it and then they started to search the other two buses with us. When it became dark they even had a fire truck come and use its spotlight on the buses so they could continue searching.”
After the seven-hour search ended, the buses continued to Aspen for the planned ski trip.
“The worst part was we were going to (Aspen to) have fun,” said the first-year in pre-business. “Yeah, people are breaking the law, but we’re just college students trying to have fun. I remember this one girl crying a little, but after an hour or so we switched bus drivers and started to drink again.”