Bust at Bard shuts down drug lab
THREE Bard College students who set up a drug-manufacturing lab in their dormitory less than two months after arriving on the Northern Dutchess campus for the new academic year are facing felony drug charges and expulsion from school, according to police and college officials.
Gregory R. Schroeder, 21, of California, Zakhar Berlin, 19, of Brooklyn, and Elliott F. Kidd, 19, of Texas, are being held without bail on felony counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to state police.
Schroeder is a sophomore at the private four-year school in the Red Hook hamlet of Annandale-on-Hudson, and Berlin and Kidd are freshman, said Bard College spokesman Mark Primoff.
The college is in the process of expelling the three students, Primoff said.
State police Senior Investigator William Gray said the three apparently were moving their drug laboratory from one location to another on Oct. 7 when they were spooked by campus security responding to an unrelated disturbance at the college.
Gray said the three began acting suspiciously - Schroeder actually was found hiding in nearby bushes - prompting the security officers to search the suitcases they were carrying. Gray said the suitcases "were loaded with drugs and what police said was a portable processing lab.
Campus security contacted state police, and troopers, armed with a search warrant signed by Red Hook Town Kelly Flood-Myers, searched the premises of 375 Robbins Dorm, where additional solvents, precursors, marijuana and hashish were recovered, police said.
Members of the state police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team confiscated nearly 1 pound of marijuana, half a kilogram of a partially refined but yet-unidentified hallucinogenic drug, hashish, hashish oil and a portable drug-processing lab similar to the kind used to manufacture methamphetamines, though Gray said that was not what the students were making.
Gray said the quantity of drugs confiscated was "too much to be for personal use," though police have nothing at this point to indicate the three were supplying drugs to other students or residents of the greater Red Hook community.
"The investigation into that is ongoing," the investigator said.
Primoff said college officials have held a number of meetings with students to inform them of the arrests and to re-emphasize that the college will not tolerate drug use on campus.
"If there's any message that comes through from this, and this is one that we've been expressing to the student body ever since this happened, is that we are here to provide an education and a safe and healthy atmosphere for students here at Bard," Primoff said. "We state it every year to our students, it's in our student handbook, and we've been restating it since this happened. Illegal drug activity on our campus just will not be tolerated."
Primoff also said the police "responded wonderfully" to the situation.
"They came quickly, handled it professionally, and now the students are gone," he said.
Town of Red Hook Supervisor Marirose Blum Bump said she was aware of the arrests but did not wish to comment.
The three suspects are being held in the Dutchess County Jail and are scheduled to appear in Red Hook Town Court later this month.
An article in another newspaper contained more details, such as the fact that the lab in question was in fact a DMT lab. Swim can't find that online as of yet but will continue to look.