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Five Nabbed As Alleged Drexel University LSD Ring Is Busted

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(Photos from Phila. DA's ofc.)

(Photos from Phila. DA’s ofc.)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two Drexel University students are among five people arrested in connection with what investigators say was a million-dollar LSD ring that was operating on the university’s campus.

A recent arrest in Upper Moreland led the Philadelphia DA’s office to the LSD ring that apparently operated at Drexel for more than a year.

Brian Grady, head of the Dangerous Drug Offender Unit in the DA’s office, says that when the suspect was busted for marijuana possession, he immediately started spilling his guts about what was going down at  Drexel.

“The first informant that we spoke to from Upper Moreland put us in contact with the Drexel student who was the supplier for the Upper Moreland individual,” Grady said today.  “That Drexel student immediately began to cooperate with us as well, and led us into his source of supply, which was another Drexel student. He led us to his suppliers.”

Three men were arrested during a raid overnight Monday in the 4800 block of Florence street: Raphael Zappala, 33; Joseph Dassay, 31; and Wesley Crawford, 34.

The DA’s office also confiscated $10,000 in cash and 9,500 hits of acid with a street value of more than $28,000.

Investigators were withholding the names of the Drexel students because they are considered confidential informants.

Monday evening, Drexel University released the following statement:

Drexel University has a zero tolerance policy for any type of illegal activity and takes immediate disciplinary action, including criminal prosecution. Drexel University Police fully cooperated with the District Attorney’s Dangerous Drug Offender Unit, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Philadelphia Police, resulting in the arrests of five people connected to an LSD ring operating in University City.

Although two Drexel students were involved, the masterminds of the operation arrested today were not affiliated in any way with Drexel and operated out of a house on 48th Street, not on the Drexel campus.

The University complies with all state and federal regulation in the dissemination of information. When Drexel is made aware of any students participating in illegal behavior, the University places them on indefinite suspension pending the outcome of the investigation by Philadelphia and Drexel police.

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