By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Editor in Chief
An ACU freshman from Austin was arrested and jailed Oct. 7 after the ACU Police Department found a small bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the student’s room in Edwards Hall.
ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said ACUPD officers were called to the residence hall after several students and Kevin Claypool, Edwards Residence Director, reported a strong odor of marijuana coming from the student’s room on the first floor.
Ellison said two students were in the room, and ACUPD found drugs and several bongs and pipes. Only one student was found to be carrying drugs and was charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor. ACUPD arrested the student, whose name university officials would not release, around 7 p.m. He was taken to Taylor County Jail.
“We found the drugs and placed him under arrest,” Ellison said. “It was a fairly open and shut incident.”
If the freshman is convicted, he may face a fine not to exceed $2,000 and confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, according to the Texas Penal Code. Ellison said the case already was filed with the Taylor County District Attorney’s office.
In addition to facing criminal charges, the student could face university sanctions and even suspension from the university.
According to the ACU Student Guide, using illegal drugs is a Category Three violation of the university policy. A Category Three violation can result in suspension from the university, an accountability agreement, loss of privilege, a minimum fine of $100, loss or reduction of scholarships, eviction from university housing, delay or prohibition of registering for classes and denial or readmission without approval.
Although Ellison said this incident did not produce a further investigation into drugs on campus, he said it shows these types of crimes occasionally occur on and around ACU’s campus.
“There is no indication this incident was linked to any specific people or patterns,” Ellison said. “At the same time I’m not so naive to think this is the only incident that has occurred on campus. This is probably the one that somebody smelled and called.” Ellison added that this happens once or twice a semester, and he does not believe it is fair to assume because of these incidents there is a “drug problem” on campus.
“Incidents such as this show ACU is not immune to people making poor choices,” Ellison said.