You know that big drug ring bust at Columbia that everyone's talking about? Where those five frat boys got caught selling $11,000 worth of pot, cocaine, ecstasy, and Adderall to undercover cops? (Oops.) Well now that they've been arrested and arraigned (and one of them has even been bailed out!), let's take a minute to learn more about our entrepreneurial little Ivy-educated leaders of tomorrow, shall we?
Chris Coles: The Marijuana Man
20-year-old Chris Coles is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An anthropology and political science major, he is currently being held at Riker's Island on $25,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond. [Columbia Spectator "Spectrum"]
The Columbia Spectator
says he "sold marijuana exclusively, including a $5,000 sale of 1.5 pounds on Nov. 23" and allegedly told police detectives, "I just sell it to pay tuition." Oh, well. They can't all be as exciting as the Twinkie defense
Jose Stephan Perez (a/k/a Stephan Vincenzo): The Prettyboy
20-year-old Jose Stephan Perez is a political science major and the only suspect with an alias ("Stephan Vincenzo"). Perez, who is also being held at Riker's after failing to come up with his $20,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond (his lawyer said he has "limited financial ability," and that his mother is a marine biologist with a modest income). [Bloomberg]
Quite the entrepreneur, he also ran a party-production company out of his dorm room. But unlike some of his cohorts, who said they were selling drugs to pay for school, Perez is apparently a Millennium Scholar
, which means his education is paid for by, that's right, Bill Gates. [NY Daily News
We've seen enough Law & Order to know -- if the prosecutor's looking for a plea deal, they'll try to flip Perez first. He's of "modest" means, on a scholarship, and from, apparently, a single-parent household. Don't throw away away that bright future when you can throw one of your friends under the bus, instead, Jose!
Adam "The Altoid" Klein: The Lovedrug Nerd
20-year-old Adam Klein hails from Cloister, New Jersey, and is also at Riker's. He's being held on $25,000 cash bail or $35,000 bond. He was the genius behind that LSD-on-Altoids thing. [Columbia Spectator
, Columbia Spectator "Spectrum"
His Facebook profile says he was also on the fencing team, a neuroscience major, and enjoys the musical stylings of Sublime and The Greatful Dead. How original. [Gawker
Harrison "Tuition Bill" David: The O.G.
Harrison David, also 20, is also at Riker's. He was assigned $50,000 cash bail or $75,000 bond, and was also peddling drugs to pay for school. He allegedly told a detective, "Why do you think I have to do this shit? He [my father] won't pay my tuition."
He was also, apparently, the investigation's main (and first!) target. A spokesman from the Special Narcotics Prosecutor's Office told the Columbia student paper that David was the only student who sold coke, including 20 grams for $880 on September 7. [Columbia Spectator "Spectrum"
, Columbia Spectator
David, whose father is a doctor, comes from Wrentham, Massachusetts, where he was salutatorian of his prep school. [Bloomberg
, NY Daily News
Judging from his remark, David seems a little... well, angry. We can't help but wonder if that attitude might pop up when he's pressured to turn on his friends, but can't you totally see this guy in one of those"petulant kid acts tough, but in the end gets totally schooled by Law & Order's badass Jack McCoy" scenes? Yeah, you know the ones.
Michael Wymbs: The Candyman
The eldest suspect, 22-year-old Michael Wymbs of Beach Haven, New Jersey, is a senior at Columbia's engineering school and served as the student council's vice president for the class of 2011 in 2007-2008. He was the one who sold ecstasy and the LSD-laced SweeTarts and yesterday, in court, his attorney said Wymbs had a 3.5 GPA and never before ran afoul of the law. He was also student council president and salutatorian in high school, and spent a summer as a biostatician for a cancer research program. [Bloomberg]
Wymbs's father, Clifford Wymbs, is a business professor
at Baruch College, and his mother is a "partner at a law firm." Wymbs was the only defendant who posted bail ($25,000, in case you're wondering); his parents showed up to court yesterday "with a blank check." [Bloomberg
, Columbia Spectator
Wymbs had better watch out -- no doubt his partners-in-crime are seething that his well-to-do parents swooped in and saved him from a night in the tombs. Should've sucked it up and spent some time in Riker's, buddy. David might be the prosecution's "main" target, but Wymbs and his parents' "blank check" are practically begging to be made an example of. Cut a plea deal, kid. Before someone else does.