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The Blue & Gray Press | November 18, 2017

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Fifteen Charged Following Drug Investigation

Five UMW students were arrested on campus this week in connection with a string of narcotics investigations that have resulted in 15 student arrests since July, officials said Friday, adding that they expect to charge other suspects.

The most recent arrests began Wednesday, when search warrants were served in dorm rooms in Jefferson and Marshall Halls. The arrests ended this morning, according to a press release from the Fredericksburg Police Department.

Stuart Smith, 19, of Alexandria, Va., was charged with possession of schedule I and II narcotics and distribution of narcotics including Ecstasy and prescription narcotics. He was also charged with possession of marijuana.

Charles Kinniburgh, 18, of McLean, Va., was charged with misdemeanor for distribution and possession of marijuana.

Charles Cowan III, 20, of Orange, Va., was charged with two felony counts for the distribution of schedule I and II narcotics, including ecstasy and prescription narcotics.

William Crowder, 20, of Fredericksburg was charged with felony distribution of schedule I and II narcotics.

Abraham Dayton, 19, of Fairfax was charged with felony distribution of a schedule I and II narcotic as well.

Under the Controlled Substance Act for the U.S., schedule I narcotics are defined as any drug or other substance that has a high potential for abuse, is not currently accepted for medical use in treatment in the U.S. and has a lack of accepted safety for use even under medical supervision.

Schedule II narcotics are drugs or other substances that have a high potential for abuse, but are currently accepted for medical use in the U.S. with severe restrictions, and their abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

According to the release, the narcotics violations on the UMW campus have involved sale and distribution of capsules called Molly’s, which commonly contain ecstasy and are often combined with other illegal narcotics such as cocaine and heroin.

Prescription narcotics like hydrocodone and OxyContin were also being sold for recreational use, according to Fredericksburg Public Information Officer Natatia Bledsoe.

“The distribution of these dangerous narcotics represents a serious threat to the UMW community and to the whole Fredericksburg region,” said Brent Taylor, detective division commander, in a statement. “I hope these arrests send a clear message that such illegal activities will not be tolerated.”

The investigation remains open and active, the police said.

The investigations began on July 29 with the arrest of Tyler Troutman, 20, of Warrenton, Va., and Sebastian Ensign, also 20 and of Warrenton. They were arrested on College Avenue for misdemeanor possession of marijuana after detectives observed them conducting a transaction with a dealer who was already the focus of an ongoing investigation. Ensign was also arrested for possession of a schedule I narcotic, according to the release.

The release said that on Sept. 3, detectives were notified by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service of a package addressed to 1440 Kenmore Ave. that contained approximately two pounds or marijuana. Another half pound was discovered later.

The detectives then observed its delivery, and arrested the three residents of the home, Bledsoe said.

William Bleimeister, 19, was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

In Virginia, both of the counts are felonies.

Derek Rhule, 19, was also charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

John Collins, also 19, was charged with a misdemeanor for distribution of marijuana.

However, Sarah Treacy, 19, of Goochland arrived on the scene while detectives were present to make a purchase. She was then charged with misdemeanor for possession of marijuana.

On Sept. 30, detectives were warned of another package containing illegal substances through the cooperation of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Virginia State Police Drug Task Force, the release said.

According to Bledsoe, detectives observed the delivery and receipt of a package to 1617 Stafford Ave. The package contained approximately one and a half pounds of marijuana.

The release said that the home’s two residents, Kyle Dexheimer and Colin Rom, were taken into custody.

Dexheimer, 21, was charged with felony counts of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Rom, 21, was charged with misdemeanor for the possession of marijuana.

Two residents of Rowe Street were also present and arrested during this investigation.

Andrew Freakley, 20, and Barak Holtslag, 21, were charged with possession and the intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

The Bullet is attempting to reach all the students charged for comment.

Photo: Top row, from left: William Bleimeister, Derek Rhule, Charles Cowan.  Bottom row, from left: Barak Holtslag, Kyle Dexheimer, Andrew Freakley.  All six of these students have been charged following a drug investigation.  Courtesy of Natatia Bledsoe.


Comments

  1. Brad

    I’m glad you’ve finally captured these dangerous criminals and gotten them off of the streets. I can’t believe they would do drugs. Someone needs to protect them from themselves!

  2. Andrew

    I wish the best outcome for these students and their futures.

    Dangerous drugs and these charges are very concerning for everyone involved but I hope that they can learn an important lesson and move forward.

    In my opinion, Marijuana should be decriminalized.

  3. rob

    Im glad these reefer addicts are off the streets. They call it the devils lettuce for a reason. Society is saved.

  4. Daniel

    Why do you have to post this on the internet for everyone to see? You should probably smoke more and add some creativity to your articles. Thank god these reefer-addicts are off of the streets, society is saved.

  5. Molly

    Really, truly disappointed in the Bullet’s decision to make these mugshots front page news. So, is using the names, ages, addresses, and even photographs of the accused a consistent practice of the Bullet? Police Beat doesn’t even mention names- what is so outrageous about this series of arrests over the past 4 months to warrant posting these? What is the journalistic justification for it? This reads more like a police report than a Bullet story, and as a member of the paper I am ashamed. (In fact, it reads exactly like the Free Lance Star article.) These are your fellow students- the focus of your story should reflect that.

  6. RENEX

    is this article necessary? Front page? Does UMW not have more important news that will actually effect its students to put on blast? Good work Lindley Estes so informative… you are a valuable asset to the newspaper.

  7. Heather Chen

    This is not a debate on the legalization of marijuana. This is a debate on the invasion of privacy and misspending of tax dollars for potheads in jail. Jimmy Carter said that penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. I love how UMW is seeking to destroy the careers of these kids. This misapplication of the laws against drugs invites the government and Mary Washington into the private areas of our lives. Most people in the smoking community and even people who support it are in the closet because it’s such a controversial issue. Get over yourselves people. You’re doing more damage to yourself and society by drinking that bottle of liquor and walking down College Ave. than you ever will be smoking a joint in the basement of your home and passing out in front of the TV. The Mary Washington community is disappointing so many students and members of the surrounding community. If you want to save us from dangerous criminals, why don’t you chase after the rapists and thieves that have been plaguing Fredericksburg.
    Tax dollars for education not for criminal sanctions of marijuana.

  8. John D.

    It’s shameful that the UMW article would not only post the names and photos of these students, but I’ve also heard they made no attempt to contact these them for their side of the story. Some of them were arrested by association only, and stand to have every charged dropped. This article is off-base, poorly researched, and is there souly to make an example out of these students. I do not agree with what they have done, and I too think that it is wrong. Best of luck to them and their families as they deal with the legal process. Shame on you UMW, you should protect your students instead of making an example out of them. If any of them are found innocent, this article still casts a black cloud over their personal life, and potentially their future careers.

  9. gregory

    and in california, they vote on legalization in november. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_19_%282010%29

    one strike drug policies are so outdated.

  10. Jency

    I know that these students were engaging in illegal activities, which is wrong, however, I think it’s an incredibly tasteless decision on The Bullet’s part to publish their pictures. Aside from public shaming I really don’t get the point of including the photos, I mean, it’s not like they’re dangerous criminals. Although, I don’t exactly think of The Bullet as a reputable publication anyway.

  11. Bob H.

    They call it Devils Lettuce for a reason

  12. Taylor

    This article makes me quite relieved to have graduated. I have always been appalled with Bullets choice in articles, and editing decisions. This article is completely over the top. There is absolutely no need to publish names, mug shots, and addresses. The student population needs to take a long and hard look at what we are willing to tolerate from the decidedly biased and unreasonable publishing decisions of the bullet.

    Furthermore, as stated above, the article was poorly researched, and quite biased. Is the point of a STUDENT run newspaper to nail these students to the wall, with no chance at making a statement. The school and student population should support these students during their undoubtedly tough period in their lives.

    Virginia, a large population of the UMW population, and the Bullet, have a long way to go in the path to recognizing that the “war on drugs” is entirely driven by the financial interests of a select few. The amount of money spent on pathetic investigations, and horrendous invasions of privacy such as this could be spent on treatment and rehab.

  13. Wilberto

    Let’s remember that, regardless of charges or illegal habits, that these “criminals” are actually people, and don’t lose “people status” upon being arrested and expelled from UMW. This article was in such bad taste that it motivated me to write this article (obviously), and is the equivalent of kicking everyone who is mentioned while they are obviously down.

    I really thought the bullet would have handled this incident better. I don’t think any sort of witty or questioning staff editorial regarding the one strike rule (which I’m sure will grace next week’s issue) could get the bad taste of this article out of my mouth.

  14. Danielle

    This is in really, really poor taste. What happened to the original conception of The Bullet? It was a student’s newspaper by original design and now it’s just as ridiculous as every school official.
    The paper doesn’t even run until Thursday. In what way was this such a pressing issue that it required going out of the way to publish this article online early?

  15. Mike

    Molly is supposed to be pure MDMA, as opposed to a mixture. Also, marijuana is a schedule I, despite how stupid that is. Having known these kids, their use and distribution of the drugs probably wasn’t the best life decision, but they never impeded upon anyone else’s life, as far as I’m aware.

  16. Magan

    These are drug users. Of course they’re not real people! They don’t deserve privacy or any type of human treatment. It’s great that I now know everything about them so that I can go on a poorly planned witch hunt.

    Everybody go get your torches and pitchforks!

    This article is poorly researched, ignorant and an invasion of privacy. This isn’t journalism. And posting their pictures is completely ridiculous. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  17. Sara

    Seriously, Bullet, wha choo smokin’?
    I agree, it was in poor taste to post the mugshots, the full names, the addresses, etc. Not necessary. Also disrespectful. Don’t have much more to say than that.

  18. Dr. Greenthumb

    Long live Stu and Will!!

  19. Paul

    Yeah total invasion of privacy lol! Who do you think you are UMW Bullet for telling us what happened!?! This is supposed to be a newspaper! Geez!

    I usually hate the bullet with its inane talks about whatever stupid opinion some stupid person thinks that they have, but this, for once, was pretty much all facts. They told us what happened, it wasn’t an opinion piece. It was a piece about what these kids got arrested for. I don’t see how that’s an invasion of privacy.

    My only questions are… Why the hell were they making deals on campus? Seriously guys…

    And… Why the hell were people sending POUNDS of marijuana through THE UNITED STATES MAIL? Those guys kind of deserved getting caught just because that’s so amateur a move.

  20. The Shadow

    3.5 pounds of weed through the US Postal Service…

    Seriously guys….

    Seriously… they were that stupid?

    P.S. They got arrested in the real world. This is what happens in the real world. Grow up and learn to deal with the consequences.

  21. The Shadow

    Long live Lindley for being a good reporter!

  22. Dwight K. Schrute

    There was really no need to publish the photos of the students involved and if anyone was really THAT desperate to find out their names, ages, and residencies they could just look at the Free Lance-Star article. I don’t understand why the Bullet basically copies the same articles to re-publish them…can’t find anything good on your own?

    FACT: No one actually deserves to get caught, and talking like that is likely to bring you some wicked smoker’s karma Mr. Morris.

  23. Anonymous

    “long live lindley for being a good reporter!”

    good reporting? she didn’t go to the accused for questioning, she just copied the police press release. It probably took her 10 seconds. That’s not good reporting, that’s laziness.

  24. Suzie Q

    Aside from the fact that this article is close to an invasion of privacy and completely distasteful, the author more or less copied this gem out of this article from Fredericksburg’s freelance star: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/102010/10162010/582451
    Nice try, Lindley, the honor council will be happy about this one.
    In one fell swoop you not only made UMW look like it doesn’t support its students (nobody has heard a gavel), but you exploited members of your own student body. To top it off your article was a meandering knock off of a crappy small town newspaper!
    Golf clap for the bullet which has proven once again that it runs on incompetence.

  25. Herbie

    This is extremely messed up on the Bullet’s part. Yeah sure you can name them, but to post their pictures up just to embarrassed them even more is just journalism getting nasty. It’s no wonder no one ever reads your articles. You go through such extremes just to get people to read your article. I know some of these guys and your treating them like convicted murders. Marijuana is already legal in California and they need to change the laws in Virginia. Also the school really needs to change their one strike drug policy, because people always deserve a second chance.

  26. Alix

    Congratulations, you got yourself published on the front page. But at what cost? Public humiliation for those who are facing charges?

    Don’t you think it’s hard enough on those students who are potentially looking at the end of their academic and professional careers? It’s one thing to give names. You just had to take it a step further and give their mugshots. You put a face to a name, so that they can’t even walk down campus walk without people knowing exactly who they are and what they did.

    Let me also comment on your fabulous reporting. Isn’t it a reporting fundamental to reflect both sides of the issue? You published a one sided, bias article. Further, you essentially regurgitated, almost verbatim, the online Fredericksburg police report without giving credit to your source. In academia, they call that plagarism.

    Hey, that’s a violation. Should we put your picture up on the front page of the bullet and write a story about it? As an academic community, we should, if anything, be giving our support to our peers who are facing charges. All we’ve done to this point has been to ostracize and criminalize them. What kind of community are we?

    Way to go, Lindsey, you were published. It seems like you have an awful lot to be proud of.

  27. Shanaynay

    Why not just give them a Scarlett letter…

    It’s just disappointing. Your community is supposed to help you out. Let the outside try to condemn them…these are her peers, her friend’s friend’s friend. What good did this article do…what purpose did it really have except to be the only big story she’s ever had the chance of writing…

    I thought we learned these things in 11th grade English…

  28. The Shadow

    @ Anonymous: They were given a chance to respond, they were all contacted and did not respond. Don’t claim what you can’t back up.

  29. Kyle

    Most of this (pictures, information, etc) is from a press release given out by police. This information is already out there. So people who are trying to slam the author (who was assigned the story, not her decision) are just annoyed by the facts.

    Besides, 3.5 pounds of maryjane in the mail deserves faces to the stupidity.

  30. ya boi

    as long as there is a demand, people are gonna figure out how to make a supply. Obviously there is an extremely high demand at umw, so im guessing sooner than later the supply comes back. I know the guys who got arrested didn’t cause anybody any problems, who knows what the next group of people who are gonna supply weed to mary wash are gonna be like.

  31. Kate

    If you’re pissed off that your friends got arrested, maybe you should hang around smarter people.

    Don’t do stupid shit if you don’t want to be on the front page of several newspapers.

  32. Paul

    “You put a face to a name, so that they can’t even walk down campus walk without people knowing exactly who they are and what they did.”

    They won’t have to worry about that anymore….

    > but to post their pictures up just to embarrassed them even more is just journalism getting nasty.

    > pictures up just to embarrassed them

    > to embarrassed them

    > embarrassed

  33. Smoove B

    They made their choices. If they were dumb enough to order pounds of ganja through the mail (when most regional post offices have drug detection equipment)…then they deserve to be praised publicly for their intelligence. Its all about natural selection. Said individuals were obviously not meant to take their lives any further. If 15 UMW students were arrested for going ape-shit and committing vandalism and other acts of hedonistic devilry (with Devil Lettuce maybe factoring in)…they’d still make the Bullet, mugshots and all. They knew what they were doing was mad illegal…so lets not get our panties in a bunch if cops decide to do real police work instead of busting up our parties. If they were able to get anything out of their squandered education…hopefully they learned how to not drop the soap.

  34. UMWAlum2010

    I must say that I was surprised that the Bullet put up the mugshots but I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I mean, if it was just pot, then I might be more against all of this but I think it is pretty obvious that there was heavier stuff going on here than just pot. Once they were charged with possession of pot or the other narcotics, they were no longer members of UMW and its not like this wasn’t going to spread around the entire campus. I mean there are only 4000 of us…And yes this is news, when President Frawley got two DUIs in two days and was driving through Fredericksburg on 3 wheels, it was on the front page of the Bullet. This seems like it was a large amount of drugs on our small campus, of course its going to make the Bullet.

  35. Alyssa Dandrea

    “so lets not get our panties in a bunch if cops decide to do real police work instead of busting up our parties.”

    So….real police work is busting some kids with drugs? OOOOHHHH man I bet the UMW community feels extra safe now that those criminals are off our streets. Thank God I can walk alone at night now….OH WAIT I STILL CAN’T because of the recent and numerous crimes…stalking, robbery, assault, threats with weapons etc…. are the truly scary things we should be worried about. REAL police work would be working hard to ensure more security in the area so that maybe I don’t have to carry a weapon with me at night. Yeah, I get it, drugs are bad mmmkaay and illegal, but seriously…instead of following people around in their cars just to freak them out and posting up outside parties to catch the drunk underage girls stumbling out, the Fredericksburg cops should focus on what’s going on outside the college where the real problems lie.

  36. Meg

    Most other newspapers also run mugshots when people are arrested–you can easily find them online. What the Bullet has done is the same thing; it’s standard journalistic practice. And also–how many of you read the Free-Lance Star article in the newspaper and then immediately went on Facebook to see who these people were? I doubt all of you found out about the article by stalking the UMW Bullet homepage.

    Those of you bashing Lindley for her article, why don’t you pick up the Free Lance Star or check out the website? Lindley has been writing for the Free Lance all semester, so she doesn’t really need to have something published in a school paper on the front page to be worthy–she’s got a local paper to do that. The Bullet has also frequently used Free Lance Star articles as the basis for their articles. It happens all the time. Other papers use other articles to develop their own articles too.

  37. Ms. Choksondik

    These boys need to come to my office so that Mr. Mackey and I can give them a time out!

  38. UMW Student

    Yeah this is a terrible article. Grammatical errors, the fact that names, addresses and mugshots were used for no real reason and the fact that this article is essentially the exact same as the AP News story, whoever wrote this (POS) just skimmed through the AP story and rewrote it, it essentially the same sentence for sentence.
    Glad I dont write for this shit, I’d like to have a future

    STU SMITH FOR LIFE

  39. anonymous

    Not all of the students have been kicked out- if you talked to them or the administration you would find out that the circumstances for each student’s arrests is dramatically different and some of them will continue to be enrolled in the university. The kids who got busted on campus sold to undercovers, but some of the kids arrested off campus were only in the location hanging out with friends (so they all recieved the same charge) I’m no reporter, but I was able to find out these details by taking 5 min and asking them what happened. Also, the bullet never came to them for questioning. In fact, they only started contacting them this week when they got so much opposition for their article. If this lindley girl was a professional reporter like you say, she would have gone to her peers right away for questioning. This whole article is in bad taste

  40. Eric

    I mean, they broke they law. The Bullet didn’t choose for weed to me illegal. The fifteen students broke the law. And they fact that they broke the law is what will ruin their careers and education, not the fact that their mug shots were published in the Bullet.

    Doesn’t that sound a little asinine? “The Bullet published they’re mugshots, so they’re careers and education are ruined!”

    It ignores the fact that the students did something that warranted getting MUGSHOTS. I think THAT should be the topic of discussion. Not where those mugshots were ultimately published.

    Also, this story broke Friday. After the print edition of the Bullet came out. That means that the article online is a bare-bones story. Just facts and figures until more information can be gathered for the print edition. The same thing happened during the Hample resignation, and with other newspapers that have an online presence.

    If we want to debate the issue of legalization, that’s entirely another matter. But the fact remains that these kids broke the law, and were dealing in much heavier stuff than just weed (prescription drugs, etc). Moreover, they were doing it on school property, and via the US postal service.

    Its news, and it needed to be told.

  41. Cassandra

    …they sent 2 POUNDS of marijuana through the MAIL.

    These aren’t drug dealers. They’re idiots.

    I’m not ashamed of the Bullet for posting these facts (note: FACTS, not opinions) – I’m ashamed of 90% of the above comments for not sitting back & laughing their asses off at “kids these days” not being better at covering their trail.

  42. Cassandra

    Also, let’s ponder this for a moment: mugshots, addresses, names…

    What could possibly be the purpose of this?
    Ms. Estes lost a dear friend to marijuana & has made it her life goal to expose all users? She had a personal vendetta against these shaggy-haired ruffians? She had her eye on the Pulitzer?

    …No. UMW wants kids to know they’re fucking serious.
    It’s a warning: be an idiot & get caught; see what happens.

    Is it fair that UMW has a one-strike policy? Of course it isn’t.

    But when you attend a school with such a policy, & you choose to play with drugs anyway, BE SMART. These kids chose not to. The Bullet saw the opportunity to make an example.

    If anything, it’s a favor to the rest of the student body. We now know the repercussions – & we’ll be smarter.

  43. joe

    “…they sent 2 POUNDS of marijuana through the MAIL.

    These aren’t drug dealers. They’re idiots.”

    i would love to chat with you cassandra. take me in as your student. it is rare to meet someone that hasn’t ever embarrassed themselves in their lives, or been mortified if said incident got BLOWN UP so everyone at their college knows what they did. you’ve got something in your eye.

  44. joe

    and i think the motivation was probably more like “this is what i see on the tv when i see a local news report on drug dealers… i should probably do it the way they do.” i don’t think it has to do with a public service to let everyone else know how dangerous it is to move shit at college.

    and yes, it is a bad idea to send weed through the mail. it’s not the most pressing public service to let potheads know they shouldn’t do that. but sometimes people fuck up! be nicer, and less republican.

  45. Cassandra

    Joe, of course I’ve done stupid stuff & been embarrassed.

    But I can easily, honestly say I’ve never sent drugs through the mail & gotten busted by the cops.

    But I can assure you, if I had, I would not only accept public flogging, I would be thankful for it – because obviously, to do something so laughably stupid, I would be an idiot in desperate need for a wake-up call.

  46. Cassandra

    And I’d rather be “mean & republican” than naive & democratic.

  47. Liz Lemon

    I think this should be a rally to push even harder to get the one strike policy overturned.

  48. Shanaynay

    @ Joe…

    Amen brotha man

  49. Bryan Mytelka

    I will use my full name, yes on the scary innernets, because I am disgusted at this article and how the paper has handled it. I am ashamed to have my school associated with this, not for the students named but for the paper that named them.

  50. Liz Lemon

    Cassandra, it is those who are against marijuana policy reform who are naive.

  51. Cassandra

    …I’m not against a policy reform. When did I ever give that impression?
    Actually, quite the opposite, I said earlier that the one-strike policy is unfair.

    All I said was that if you’re going to break the rules, be smart.

  52. MP

    She was living in a single room with three other individuals. One of them was a male and the other two, well, the other two were females. God only know what they were up to in there. And furthermore Susan, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that all four of them habitually smoke marijuana cigarettes… reefers…

  53. B

    Sure, you can roll down to the UMW pharmacy and be out in minutes with a bottle full of dangerous, chemically addictive amphetamines, but god forbid any of us take a break with one of the most therapeutic substances known to man. The administrative culture here is so far removed from student voice and interest, as well as contemporary science, and it’s quite sad.

  54. Paul

    1. The article was probably written because Fredericksburg is boring. Honestly… This was awesome. It made me feel like a big city boy.

    2. What is this argument even about? These kids were stupid. The Bullet reported that they were stupid. Is it that we feel sorry for stupid people? Should we maybe be nicer next time someone sends weed through the mail?

    3. COPS IS SOOO LAME LOL!!!!

    4. UMW is boring. You guys don’t know how to do shit right. You suck at parties, you suck at everything, you can’t even be good drug dealers. Amateurs… Seriously.

    5. I think everyone can agree that this sucks for those kids involved. I would not want to be them. But… Think about it though. If you got caught in a major drug bust, got kicked out of school, and have their lives ruined anyways, then wouldn’t you want your mugshot on the front page? That’s pretty badass.

    6. lol.

    7. I hate all of you guys. So very very much. You’re so lame.

  55. Martha W.

    Thank god these kids were caught. Now they can finally get haircuts.

  56. Kayley

    Students who chose Mary Washington knew they were coming into a small school environment and knew about the one strike policy. If you didn’t well you should of done more research into your choice of college. If you don’t want to be in the paper, don’t be an idiot and get caught so easily or better yet don’t do anything to jeopardize your education. It’s so easy to get away with stuff here, the people who get caught deserve to get caught. If you want a big school with more excitement, drugs and parties, then transfer no one cares if you’re here or not.

  57. Avon Barksdale

    I think people are kind of missing the point here. This is an open criminal investigation. People were charged with crimes, and the Bullett reported these charges along with some self-congragulatory police bull. You can call the story an invasion of privacy, but that’s not focussing on what makes this an interesting story. This is a typifying example of what’s wrong with Fredericksburg. The Police department uses it’s resources on a months long, elaborate investigation rumored to involve wiretapping in order to bring in a drug ring comprised of UMW students. I think that kind of says it all. This is what they’re proud of. Fredericksburg can claim to be tough on crime, and they’ll have the arrest records to prove it, but are these really the people you want to target? If that answer continues to be yes the animosity between students and town will continue to grow.

    And there’s nothing wrong with getting weed through the mail. People do it, it happens a lot. How do you think weed from California gets here?

  58. Jan P

    What makes anyone over the age of 18 think that because they dabble in illicit behavior and get caught that they are privileged to privacy? They were arrested, they are charged with a crime, they are on school property, and have shown the town of Fredericksburg that the UMW campus is one to be watched due to some 15 people getting arrested for drugs. The next time any of you decide to be on or off campus, and the cops start stopping due to the “possibility” that you might be doing something illegal, is that an invasion of your privacy… HELL NO! The precedent has already been set… The real world can be a very nasty place.

  59. MC

    “What makes anyone over the age of 18 think that because they dabble in illicit behavior and get caught that they are privileged to privacy?”

    I just think there should be a difference between the treatment of those accused of violent vs. nonviolent crimes. I don’t think a “public flogging” is really necessary in this instance.

  60. Matthew Blair

    Lay off the Bullet and Lindley for reporting the news. The news reports happenings in the community. This is news. This is public record. If you have a problem with it, take your fallacious arguments elsewhere and stop attacking my friend.

  61. Lauren M

    Congrats! Now your taxpayer money can be spent on prosecuting nonviolent criminals. And what will they get, some community service? Word. And Matt, just because it is public record does not mean the Bullet needs to contribute.

  62. Steve Watkins

    This is standard, next-day news reporting. The reporter wrote what is fact–that these people were arrested and charged with these various crimes. The reporter appropriately attributed the information in the article to police and university sources. The story is obviously newsworthy–it was on the front page of the Free Lance-Star, ran on the Associated Press wire, and was picked up by other newspapers and TV and radio stations around the state. The Bullet, following standard journalistic practice, is following up for other stories, which will include opportunities for these students to comment on the charges. Should these students be convicted or exonerated, should charges be dropped, whatever the outcomes of these cases, the Bullet will follow up as it has always done and report those stories as well. That’s the newspaper’s job. Regardless of what you think of the state’s drug laws, or UMW’s drug policy, these arrests and charges are news. Should the Bullet have kept the names our of the article, people would have had a legitimate reason to criticize the paper, for protecting the indentity of people charged with crimes in this community. The public has a right to know the names of those charged with crimes (and the dispensation of their cases). The newspaper has a responsibility to publish the news.

  63. Kayley

    “public flogging” is not really the way to put it. Whether its in the bullet or not, its a small school, word gets around fast, people were going to find out anyway. And I doubt anyone has beat these students because that’s what flogging means. Learn your vocabulary. The person who wrote the article is probably getting more shit than the stupid kids who were selling narcotics. not right.

  64. Jan P

    to MC – “public flogging? Perhaps there should be more of it.

  65. Kathleen

    I wonder if anyone else here complaining about the “ethical issues” of this article have ever read a newspaper before? Or even watched the news? I mean really, just because they’re your friends doesn’t make this article inappropriate.

  66. Kayley

    and of course the article is similar to the freelance star article, both articles just cover the facts. Sorry there wasn’t any flowery paragraphs talking about how we’re sticking up for the adults who broke the law. Over 18, you’re not a kid, you have to take responsibility for your actions.

  67. MC

    I was quoting Cassandra. “But I can assure you, if I had, I would not only accept public flogging, I would be thankful for it – “

  68. Cassandra

    I used the word flogging.

    And let’s not start a juvenile tiff over semantics here. Obviously I was speaking figuratively. No need to insult my vocabulary.

  69. Annie

    At this point who even cares whether the article is in bad taste, good taste, or if it is good journalism, bad journalism, etc. My problem is students insulting the character of their peers based on one piece of information. Sure, some of them may have made undeniably dumb decisions, some were in the wrong place in the wrong time, you don’t know these people and you don’t know their situation; you have no right to degrade their character. I am far more ashamed to call all these rude, close-minded, bigots my peers than I am to call otherwise good kids who made mistakes my peers.

  70. anonymous

    my only question is why didn’t they include all the mugshots? its not fair to out all of the students but then protect the other 9. Should be all or none. Also, the students charged on campus with the schedule I and II narcotics charges face much greater penalties than those involved in marijuana. Why are their pictures not included with those above? It’s unfair

  71. Amanda Keller

    Guys. This is how journalism works. The police department released the photos, it’s all public information now, someone was going to tell this story.

  72. Cassandra

    1.) “And there’s nothing wrong with getting weed through the mail. People do it, it happens a lot. How do you think weed from California gets here?”

    Runners. Very well-paid runners.
    They get paid all the time to drive cross-country with substances.

    2.) “Sure, some of them may have made undeniably dumb decisions, some were in the wrong place in the wrong time, you don’t know these people and you don’t know their situation; you have no right to degrade their character…”

    …really? I don’t?
    Y’see Annie, that’s what makes us human. We judge others. We do it all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not; whether it’s positive or negative judgment. You do it too Annie. You just judged me for judging those kids.

  73. um

    This is ridiculous. I wonder who could be behind the multiple, nearly identical postings suggesting that it’s an “invasion of privacy” to have written this article? Do you people remember when the laptop thief (http://umwbullet.com/2007/11/08/laptop-thief-behind-bars/) was caught? No one complained about his “ruined future” over the Bullet coverage. Why have a school newspaper if it isn’t going to report news? This is all pretty standard stuff to be printing. The article, like any news article, doesn’t take a moral position on whether or not drugs are wrong…and I’m sure most of these people likely have Facebook accounts with plenty of photos anyway. If you love drugs and think they should be legal, great. Write a blog post about your support for legalizing marijuana and those mean old police officers enforcing the law (gasp). But don’t get into personally attacking journalists for doing their jobs, it only makes you look like mean and biased.

  74. Kyle Shearin

    I just wish my review of Hurley got this much controversy.

  75. Bryan

    Now, “Um,” you are just stereotyping. The fact that you assume these guys have pictures of them taking bong hits as their display pictures or the like shows you are just being ignorant. Let’s be honest, we all have friends on campus who do some sort of substance. These guys were just caught and don’t look too happy about it in their mugshot.

    I don’t blame the cops, but it is sad that this has as much attention as it does.

  76. Lauren M

    “Um,” there is a big difference between victim-less crime and stealing from others.

  77. um

    I meant that the hypothetical Facebook photos would allow people to find out what they look like, meaning that mugshots are not that big of a deal. As to the other comment, we could argue all day about the ethics and cost to society of drug use (and drug dealing), but my primary point was simply that people shouldn’t attack the paper over this…or, worse, the specific author of this article. Personally, I’ll be stockpiling all of my Bullet-hatred and (hopefully) witty barbs for any upcoming trashy installments of Sexclamations.

  78. stutchers

    I am really disappointed in the Bullet for publishing this article. These people are our classmates, our friends, part of our campus community.. they have been caught, they are facing the charges that the police are giving them, and that is really as far as they need to be punished. I wonder if the Bullet realizes that this article is publicly humiliating students that have had a very rough week as it is. Obviously nobody involved in this article can tap into any empathy for their fellow students, but I personally think this is a shameful and harmful article that was completely unnecessary. You already have a section of “police blotters” which, I mean, I guess is helpful. But at least that is anonymous. I don’t see any benefit in posting names, let alone mug shots. Was your goal to have everyone on campus avoid the people mentioned in your article? Because that is ridiculously cruel, and it won’t even work. This paper represents our student body, and I feel that if something this outrageous is published, people have a responsibility to speak up. This is not what I want everyone to think of Mary Washington students, I do not want to be portrayed as part of a judgmental, hateful student body. The goal of the police with this whole investigation was to keep things as quiet as possible to avoid something like this happening. This article completely undermined the privacy the police were trying to give these students, and I am ashamed of the Bullet for publishing it. I agree that nobody should attack the author of the article, but I think the editors should seriously consider what kind of content they really want to put out to not only Mary Washington, but all of our parents and friends and really anyone who cares to google “The Bullet” about how we treat our classmates and friends.

  79. Sheri

    First of all, for you guys mad about all this info being published by the Bullet, all of this information is public. Other, bigger newspapers have written about this already, and on top of some of them having felonies on their records, I don’t think a small-town college newspaper will hurt them that much.

    What does upset me, though, is everyone harping about how it’s totally unfair that they were arrested for something that isn’t hurting anyone else. I agree that it’s silly, but it’s still illegal. I completely agree that marijuana should be legalized and that having the drinking age at 21 is silly–but that doesn’t make it legal. These guys knew what they were going into when they decided to do it, and calling it unfair doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal. Parking violations and subsequent tickets are stupid, the brothel law is stupid–there are a ton of stupid laws out there, but I don’t think ranting about it on a school newspaper is going to make a difference. Talk to your legislators about it if you want marijuana to be legal, don’t harrass a reporter relaying the facts of a case.

    And as far as how the Bullet handled the situation, I agree with Steve Watkins that Lindley did the best job she could considering what was available. This is a big story, there ARE going to be follow-ups, and all those arrested will get a chance to speak (if they weren’t propositioned already)–and whether or not they decide to respond is their choice. Seriously guys, stop threatening her. She didn’t chose to write this article and I don’t think threatening her for writing about already public information will get your point across.

  80. Paul Morris

    @stutchers

    “This paper represents our student body, and I feel that if something this outrageous is published, people have a responsibility to speak up. This is not what I want everyone to think of Mary Washington students, I do not want to be portrayed as part of a judgmental, hateful student body.” But you’re cool with being seen as a campus full of drug dealers? Fredericksburg hates us students anyways. Who cares?

    “This article completely undermined the privacy the police were trying to give these students.” The cops wanted things to be private before they started slapping cuffs on everyone. Now, however, they don’t care.

    I really don’t get you guys. When one begins to sell drugs… They are aware of the consequences. Those kids were probably making a lot of money… Maybe they should have gotten real jobs instead…

    (Point one)
    You can argue about whether you want weed to be legal or not, point of the matter is. It doesn’t matter what you think. The law is the law. These kids broke the law, they were probably aware that they were breaking the law.. (If they were not aware of it they are now probably.)

    Victim-less crime or not, it’s still against the law. Most drug dealers are usually aware that they are breaking the law. Because of this awareness they hire drug runners. They don’t send their shit through the mail, they hire some no-name guy to drive it from California to its respective distribution center. (Richmond or DC for East Virginia.) Any dealer worth his weight would laugh at these kids for sending it through the mail. Especially 2.5 pounds. Seriously….

    Like I said you idiots, it’s against the law. Blah blah blah California is legalizing it, blah blah blah it doesn’t hurt anyone! Blah blah blah shut your stupid fucking mouths you don’t know what you’re talking about. We’re not California, and I thank God we’re not. These hipster dealers are so novice it hurts.

    (Point two)
    I think “being embarrassed” is the very least of these kids worries. If I were them, I wouldn’t be too worried about what my school paper was saying about me. Nor would I care about what people were saying in “support” to my cause or “against” it on said newspaper’s poorly constructed forum. I’d probably be more worried about which lawyer I should hire. (We’ve all facebooked these kids, you can tell which ones have the good lawyers because they were probably told to take all evidence away and take their facebooks down.)

    In conclusion. When doing something that the government deems illegal. You hide it. You don’t do deals on campus, you don’t send weed through the heavily scrutinized US mail system (post 9/11 of course) and you never ever put anything down on paper or text. Stop being so annoyingly amateur. Seriously. Please.

  81. Alyssa

    Clearly, the thing that has sparked so much controversy is the fact that the photos, or mugshots rather, were posted. Had they not been put on the website I doubt this many people would be so crazy over the article. A picture may say a thousand words but a mugshot says way more. It carries with it a subtext and an extremely negative connotation. People look at a mugshot and automatically think the person is guilty, convicted, and one that must have committed a heinous crime. Therefore, the mugshots were an unnecessary addition to the story which, in and of itself, was a perfectly fine report. The Bullet should have just waited until the guys are actually convicted of any and all crimes to publish the photos.

    @Cassandra

    Sure, you can judge and degrade people all you want. That’s your right and I guess it fills you with some sort of inner glee and happiness to do so…now whether or not that’s an unfortunate and twisted way to view people is debatable….but if that’s the only thing you’re taking away from this, you’ve truly lost sight of the issue entirely and you have nothing further to contribute.

  82. anonymous

    I have a question for the bullet reporters, how come when Derek Rhule and his roommate were first arrested at the beginning of the school year, and were only mentioned in the police beat as “two UMW students were arrested for distrubtion of marijuana and conspiracy to distrubite marijauna”. At that time, the bullet decided to keep their names and identities a secret, why change now? In fact, he was arrested almost a month and 1/2 before the others, and tj almost a month before him. How is that related? If you look on facebook, you’ll see that some of these kids don’t know any of the others arrested. These news articles (not specifically the bullet) all paint the picture that these kids were an organized drug ring. Where is the proof in that? There is nothing to support that in this article, why the sudden change? I think you need to review the article again, and specify the differences in each case. Also, I know these kids, they are accepting responsibility and are acting as professionally as possible. It’s too bad their peers can’t support them and wish them the best of luck.

  83. Mike Hunt

    First of all, Just Derek and Willie were mailed the weed, and they in turn started to snitch to save thier asses to get THREE FELONY CHARGES down to ONE MISDEMEANOR… Derek and Willie are the real morons of this. They should be punished to the fullest extend, not some kids who were “pushing” tiny amounts of Dope, for little or no profit. This whole situation is totally fucked up.
    And lol @ the first comment.

  84. LB

    I completely agree that anyone who disagrees with the content of the article needs to stop insulting the reporter. The article was completely factual; the only evidence anyone has of bias is the fact that the mugshots, names, and other personal information was included. Many of you who rally against the Bullet’s article have contradicted yourself. You claim the information does not need to be shared, yet say the reporter is “lazy” for copying police reports and Free Lance Star’s article. So, is it acceptable for the Star to contain this information, but not our own school newspaper? Is the Bullet not supposed to live up to the standards of professional papers? Whether or not you agree with marijuana being illegal, it still is. These students broke the law, and they knew what they were doing. Whatever consequences, including public information, should be accepted.

  85. LynnB

    Just wondering, if these kids were some low-lifes in Mayfield or Bragg Hill, would you all be complaining about an “invasion of privacy” when their names and pictures were published in the newspaper for the exact same crimes?

    NOT.

    Such hypocrites.

    These UMW students were arrested for felony offenses, and we’re worried about embarrassing them? Here’s a hint: court proceedings are PUBLIC. If any of you want to know what the real story is, show up in the courtroom and get an education. See if they get any “speshul” treatment because they are UMW students. My guess is that the judge and the prosecutor are going to treat them just like the other low-lifes.

  86. Brad

    See, my beef with this bullet article is that it has photographs in the first place because photographs steal whoevers soul is in them. If these pictures are so widely available on the internet, then how are these young boys and girls going to get their souls back? Where is Obama?

  87. Paul Morris

    @ Alyssa:
    “Sure, you can judge and degrade people all you want. That’s your right and I guess it fills you with some sort of inner glee and happiness to do so…now whether or not that’s an unfortunate and twisted way to view people is debatable….”

    Yes, I do enjoy talking about people. I enjoy gossip.

    But here’s the thing: everyone does. If you claim you don’t, you’re lying. It’s human nature, & you’re no exception to human nature (even if your horse IS delightfully high).

    So does that make me an “unfortunate, twisted” soul to make my judgment public? Perhaps.

    …But then what does it make those who’ve convinced themselves they’re not equally judgmental?

    “…but if that’s the only thing you’re taking away from this, you’ve truly lost sight of the issue entirely and you have nothing further to contribute.”

    I haven’t lost sight of anything.
    The issue is this: kids committed a crime, got caught, got written about in the paper.

    What should the headline have read? “15 Good Kids Who Made Poor Decisions Face Charges”? Should their be a caption beneath their mugshots reading, “Go easy. They look sorry”?

    No. If I committed a crime, I wouldn’t expect any kindness from my peers or the papers. In fact, it would probably be the least of my concerns. As Paul said, I’d be more focused on finding a damn good lawyer than what my bleeding-heart colleagues thought of me.

  88. Cassandra

    Sorry. My comment above, not Paul’s.

  89. Alyssa

    @Cassie

    Like I said, you have nothing further to contribute. All you can do is pull out quotations and read into them in a way that suits you and your pathetic attempts to prove some sort of weak point. Which is what exactly? To put me in my place? I certainly never said I didn’t enjoy gossip. It’s a fun and shallow way to pass the time and I partake in it daily.

    For this issue, however, I’m sending positive vibes to these people and their families because the road ahead is going to be shitty whether they deserved it or not.

    Finally, like I said, and you’d know this if you bothered to read my entire comment rather than zeroing in on the parts you figured you could use against me, the article and headline were both fine; the mugshots shouldn’t have been posted at all.

    By all means, continue to derail this thread if you’d like, but I’ve said my peace.

  90. JB

    While I think the inclusion of addresses was a bit much, I am firmly on the bullet’s side on this one. Crimes were committed. A newspaper reported the crime. There needed to be a reputable source for people to get information from as opposed to CollegeACB.

  91. Cassandra

    “All you can do is pull out quotations and read into them in a way that suits you and your pathetic attempts to prove some sort of weak point.”

    Mm hmmm. That’s what one tends to do during a debate.

    And actually, I did in fact read your entire comment.

    But I guess I shouldn’t be commenting any further. After all, according to you, I no longer have anything else to contribute. Saury.

  92. Weed is harmless

    Weed kills 1 person every…….. ummmm….. I cant remember…. Oh yeah never.

  93. Jack

    Ecstasy and Weed are not dangerous you stupid idiots. These guys should be set free. They didn’t do anything wrong. Can you blame them for wanting to have a little bit of fun? Maybe you should have bought them that xbox 360 for Christmas like they asked, you horrible parents.

  94. George

    And nothing of value was lost.

    Enjoy prison.

  95. Danny

    Wow. I’m truly amazed at the utter stupidity of these people. I would call them halfwits, but that would imply that they at least had some wits. If you’re stupid enough to send several pounds of illegal drugs (and whether those drugs should be illegal is completely irrelevant – they are illegal and these morons knew that) through the US mail… Frankly you should probably be locked up for life for your own protection. You’re too braindead to survive in the real world. These idiots utterly deserve to be shamed and have the rest of their lives ruined – not because they sold drugs, but because they’re so utterly, insanely dumb.

  96. Robert Paulsen

    Thank god these reefer-addicts are off of the streets, society is saved.

  97. zabo

    Oh my God! Rich white suburban kids got arrested! How horrible! Let’s all cry for them! Get ready! Grab your Kleenex!

    Everyone ready???

    Look, the law, as stupid as it is, applies to everyone. Not just black kids. It applies to upper class white kids, too! (I know! Travesty!)

    No one ever told these kids NO. They’re antics were always cute and special.

    Now they ran into some cops who are not afraid to tell them NO.

    Deal with it like everybody else has to.

    If it’s a problem, get the law changed.

  98. Opus

    The Bullet publishes the names of students who are arrested. Usually it is for public drunkenness, but they have always done so the last three years, at least.

  99. stutchers

    @Paul

    See the thing is, I really don’t believe that we have the right to judge these people. Sure, their actions were against the law, they made stupid choices. Shit happens. We all make mistakes.

    Of course I don’t want to count myself in a student body of drug dealers, but that isn’t something any of us can control. We can do something about the way we treat people that make mistakes. We can not write articles with their pictures for everyone to see and misleading information. And you are wrong about the line at which the police wanted to protect privacy, I was told after witnessing a room search not to spread any information. So maybe you should not assume things, just because you have watched a few Law and order episodes.

    You may not care how other people are treated, but I think that we have all made mistakes, and I for one would not want a newspaper article out there that made it extremely easy for everyone on campus to judge me for my entire remaining time at UMW. As I said, these are our classmates and friends, and I think the paper could have been more discrete.

    As for everyone that is saying this information is public.. yes it is true. But my problem with this article is that it took public information that many of us wouldn’t have bothered to track down (really, how many of you would have googled the mug shots, really?) and made it easily accessible to the entire campus.

    No selling drugs is not ok. But neither is judging people. And if it is already a messed up situation, why would you not care that you are adding to the damage by embarrassing and judging people that are students just like you?

  100. Smoove B

    There was no invasion of privacy, that shit is all public record. Any newspaper has the right to do that. Any big newspaper that reports on police breaking up significant narcotics activity usually includes mugshots of those arrested as part of the investigations main focus. Whether they are dudes from inner-city Detroit or shaggy-haired and naive pansies from UMW…everyone is entitled to the right to have the same exposure, because this is America and we are cool like that. They really should have considered the likelihood of prison-time if they wanted to actively engage in (regardless of my stance that weed should be legal) felonies. I am a UMW alumnus and I think that its pretty funny that they got caught the way they did. I hope they are doing some push-ups in jail…because none of them really look big or not childish enough to actually handle themselves once they go to prison to serve their time. If any of the above or below posters are friends of those arrested then you should send them some care packages with KY Jelly, as they will definitely need it.

    And I will say again “If they managed to learn anything from their squandered education…I hope they learned how to not drop the soap”.

  101. Matt

    Maybe the people who are passionate about these issues should go to the forum that will be in the near future, and you can talk policy and such with people that can ACTUALLY change something- not continue to bitch about weed being illegal and berate the Bullet for doing it’s actual job or the reporter who did the report Assigned to her!
    Show up in person and speak your mind to people who have more power about these bigger issues!

  102. Paul Morris

    Thes poor poor kids. Guys. Guys I think we should all have a group meeting near the rock amiright? We should like talk about this/ It maks me sooo sad. These kids are white. I think white kids deserv to be happy. if they r liek not white, then i dnt cur bcause like… thes is good kids amiright? lake thes poor poor kids r suffering u no?

    forgive our friends. these is being r friends. i like having frinds. these ppl r my frinds. these poor white frindds. no1 deservs jail r being in paper acause they is being good kids that like things that r things that like good things that r things to like,,,,!1

  103. Paul Morris

    amiright?

  104. Anonymous

    Everyone here has read the Washington Post at one point in time haven’t they? Does the Washington Post include age, name, and picture in their articles on crime? Why I believe they do? How bout we all have a hernia about that too! They posted pictures names and ages – so what? This is one of the more professional articles on the bullet I’ve ever read. I applaud you bullet in doing an awesome job at being more professional!

  105. Carg Dawg

    You need to get your facts straight. Molly is pure MDMA. Ecstasy is MDMA cut with other things like cocaine or LSD…regardless of what the Fredericksburg pigs might want to believe.

    Derek Rhule pushed the golf cart down Russel Hill

  106. Skyrocket89

    Is it really necessary to include mugshots? And this article sounds like its straight out of the Free-Lance Star. I’m disappointed in the Bullet’s choices thus far.

  107. one of the mom's

    I raised my son to be a good Christian, law-abiding citizen. He was told “no” frequently. We did not condone bad behaivor or call it cute. He was playing with fire and he got burned. We do not think he does not deserve to be caught and punished. NONE of YOU COLLEGE MORONS will ever know the pain he has caused his family until you have your own children.

  108. Amazed

    One of the Mom’s – the choices of children continue to amaze me. As a parent, you try your best to instill the values you and your family hold dear. And then we step back and allow, even encourage, these children to make their own decisions. We pray they make wise ones – but too often, they make mistakes and some are more costly than others. Regarding the other posters here – what can be said? Obviously, the error of these 15 was in getting caught – had nothing to do with breaking the law and UMW policy.

  109. one of the mom's

    As, I said previously he deserves to be caught and punished. Our only hope and prayer now is that he will start over on the right path this time. He broke the law and UMW policy and that was bad enough. He could have badly hurt (or killed) someone or himself. For the fact he did not we are thankful. Let us all hope everyone involved in this whole mess will have learned a valuable lesson.

  110. jess

    As someone who has defended your son on this comment board, I raise my eyebrow and ask, “poe que?” to you calling US morons.

  111. Kyle Shearin

    @ one of the mom’s”

    “We do not think he does not deserve to be caught and punished.”

    Don’t call us MORONS when you overly complicate such a simple sentence. Also, don’t talk down to us when YOUR kid gets in trouble and we discuss in a public forum if pictures to an accompanied news article about your son’s arrest are necessary or not. It’s a lot more sympathy than what most alleged criminals get.

    It’s not very Christian. 🙂

  112. What I find most offensive is that most of these comments were written by current and former students of Mary Wash and yet, most were riddled with poor grammar and spelling errors. Perhaps you should spend less time “chillin’ out” and more time in class.

    Not a sermon; just a thought.

  113. one of the mom's

    To Jess: READ IT OVER: I said we “do not think he should not be punished and caught” therefore we DO think he should be punished and caught. Are you REALLY in college???

  114. one of the mom's

    Sorry for the “moron” thing….emotional outburst

  115. Michelle

    Maybe if they didn’t want their pictures posted on the internet in relation to felony drug charges they shouldn’t have been buying/using/intending to sell in the first place! What a magical idea!

  116. Anonymous

    Hahahahaha no one ever reads the Bullet and now they’re probably in their office, “guys look how many people are visiting the site and commenting! :D” Also (this is to everyone…especially Paul Morris and your horrid spelling) really?

  117. Cullen

    It is truly in poor taste to display photos and such private information about the students listed. Not to mention, a few of the so called “criminals” described don’t even attend UMW, o showing a face or displaying a name is extremely unnecessary. The article is practically copied from the star, you could’ve at least displayed another perspective on the situation then embarrassing these people AGAIN for no real journalistic purpose. At least the star had the decency to exclude the photos.

  118. Carg Dawg

    Don’t hate on the author. This is probably the most read article the Bullet has ever had! Good reporting LINDLEY ESTES. Next time make sure that the charges you put next to people’s names are actually correct…

  119. UMW Reader

    Heh, I don’t know how I feel about this. I reckon that these guys should be punished for their illegal actions. But, why not just do a police beat saying that “15 people have been arrested for drug related crimes”

    I will say one thing: I’d rather read about this than a creepy article about female masturbation…

  120. James

    Look, Lindley Estes demonstrated a disturbing lack of journalistic integrity when writing this story. She ignored a basic tenet of news reporting when she denied the subjects of her story the right to speak for themselves.
    Let me reiterate, not only did she not give a fair account of the incidents by reporting from both sides, but from what it looks like, she did little to no research and simply refashioned a collection of police reports into an alarmist, pejorative story. She sullied both her own integrity and the boys’ reputation by forsaking true verisimilitude for a quick, guaranteed front page story.
    That the editors of the Bullet, a news source I once trusted and enjoyed, would allow such a sloppy piece to be published is upsetting. It is because of this that I will never again read your paper (‘your’ because it is clearly not the community’s, clearly not ‘ours’) and will encourage others to do the same.
    And I still haven’t mentioned the fact that you included a fucking picture… I mean, come on. Just ridiculous; an accurate reflection of a shabbily run, incompetent newspaper.

  121. anonymous

    It appears that most of the “comments” are the same–shame on Lindley. Perhaps someone else should be doing future articles? She has certainly proven incompetent this time. She has gotten lots of readers and publicity at other people’s expense. Bad press for our school, etc. etc.

  122. Jamal

    @Joe. Since when did “Republican” or “Democrat” become an insult? Generally people are proud of their political affiliations. I’m sure you, sir, are very proud of being a Hippy 35 years after the war. Now something like Liberal Pansy, may suit you as an insult; and with your logic I win the entire debate since I mentioned nothing relevant but insulted you.

    @ Brad. Lol

    @ Jack. MDMA is dangerous, especially when mixed with other narcotics. Thats why people drop dead in clubs while on it. Then again I’m hoping your post was as sarcastic as it sounded. Chances are these ignorant kids weren’t serving up straight MDMA, they seem far to ignorant to be able to check their shit for purity; so what they were calling Molly was probably half Arm and Hammer.

    @ Gator. Its an internet forum. The internet has its own language now and nobody cares about grammar. Get with the times.

    Also, you all should read the entire thread before posting comments. A lot of what is being said is repetitive.

    Lindley, props to you for writing the most read article in the Bullet’s history. Put that on your resume, because after all its the controversial news that gets read the most, your publisher paid, and your name out there.

    @ Smoove. So true about the soap. These “bras” are in for quite a ride… Pun Intended.

  123. Anonymous

    This article was poorly written. I’m not here to comment on the incidents. I’m here to let the Bullet know that next time they decide to write a story that will obviously get a lot of publicity, they should probably find someone who knows how to proof read before submitting a final draft and to find someone who is more experienced with writing newspaper articles.

  124. Anonymous

    Why doesn’t the bullet run the rest of the mugshots? I think it’s unfair to only put up 6, especially when those 6 have lesser charges than the other 9. What is the justification for that? Also, this has only become the most read bullet article because everyone thinks it’s messed up on the bullets part, have you seen the rock? This article isn’t popular because of good journalism, it’s popular because it’s a prime example of what’s wrong with our newspaper. It’s run by a secular group of women who don’t represent the ideas of our student body, but instead their own personal bias’.

  125. Anonymous

    Damn, I don’t know all these kids, but I know Barak, Drew, and Kyle to be some of the nicest dudes around school. It’s too bad the bullet has painted them into bad people. I hope they learn from their mistake and move forward from here. Keep your chin up boys, the rest of the student body loves you even if the Bullet doesn’t.

  126. Brit

    The Bullet has my full support with this article. Newspapers are meant to be unbiased reporters of current news – that is what they did. If they hadn’t reported on this story, there would have been just as much, if not more backlash, saying that they are “covering it up” or “supporting drugs.”

  127. one of the roommates

    I just wanted to say thanks you to all the people that have posted support and have wished the best for the charged students. As someone that lived with them the positive support is greatly apreciated. I know what these students did was wrong of course but under God’s grace I hope they will all live and learn for this. Everyone deserves a second chance.
    I agree as well what the Bullet did was wrong by posting their mugshots on the internet and addresses of the students. They exploited them for attention and probably did little research on what actually happen. Posting their mugshots was crossing the line, this will haunt them down the line and could hinder their careers. What if some of these students proven innocent? This article with their faces will still be online and future employeers will see this. I hope the Bullet recoginzes what they did lacks intergrity and lacks respect of privacy- and take off the picture.
    Linley I dont know you personally so therefore I wont judge you. But I hope you are reading all these comments. Put yourself for one second in ANY of these students shoes. How disrespeted would you feel if your picture was on online even before you have been convicted? (none of these students are convicted yet) If your address was posted online? That is dangerous. hope you realize what you did was a mistake and you fix it sooner than later.

    “People’s characters are defined not by how they get knocked down but by how they bounce back.”

  128. Justin Toney, former News Editor

    Lindley– Thank you for your service to your community and to the pursuit of public information. Do not let the anger that comes with controversy dissuade you from being as objective and selfless in your reporting as you have been thus far in both our local publications.

    The Bullet– Remember the lessons learned from years back: that your justification and your strength comes from reporting upon issues affecting the student body and the institution of UMW. As with other Jefferson storms, this too shall pass. Seize the opportunity to be a shining example of quality, ethical, impacting reporting. As always, “do not wait to strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.”

    UMW– The voices of the outraged and the ignorant far too often outweigh the call to reason. If you read these comments collectively, note the great many who write with sensibility and cited evidence. Note also that these latter comments largely express a view defending the freedoms of press and expression so long treasured at our institution of learned people and ever upheld by The Bullet.

    See you on Thursday!

  129. Kyle Shearin

    @ one of the roommates

    ” Posting their mugshots was crossing the line, this will haunt them down the line and could hinder their careers. What if some of these students proven innocent? ”

    How so does it cross the line? These adults were arrested for intention of selling drugs to other adults. Not just Marijuana either, but that will come out later. Most news stories have mugshots if it’s attached to big crimes like this. This is how things are done in the big bad real world. The mugshots are out there (the Bullet did not release them) and only reported it to their students. It’s their job. Also, it would be extremely biased not to do so just because these are UMW students. If they are proven innocent then the Bullet will write about that and it will be out there. But this is the news and these are the facts. If they really want to worry about their careers, then they probably shouldn’t have been trying to peddle drugs. These are adults, and as adults you have to live with this and take responsibility for your actions. This isn’t high school anymore.

    “They exploited them for attention and probably did little research on what actually happen.”

    Exploited them for what? The reporters are volunteers trying to learn to be good reporters for their careers in journalism or publication. They don’t get paid and I’m sure the death-threats that they’ve been getting are not worth this “attention” you speak of. Research? Most, if not all of the students declined a response (not a surprise there) and there will be a follow up on Thursday which will have more information, student responses, etc. This report was just for proximity. It’s very bare-bones and only reported the facts. For some reason people are treating this news article as if it outed these kids to the authorities.

    “This article with their faces will still be online and future employeers will see this. I hope the Bullet recoginzes what they did lacks intergrity and lacks respect of privacy- and take off the picture.”

    Well then every news paper and online news site ever lacks integrity. Go open a news paper and look up articles on people have been caught. There are mugshot next to every article if it was available at time of publication.

    “Linley I dont know you personally so therefore I wont judge you. ”

    Oh, how kind of you. Despite your entire post has judgmental angst riddled within. But okay.

    “But I hope you are reading all these comments. Put yourself for one second in ANY of these students shoes. How disrespeted would you feel if your picture was on online even before you have been convicted?”

    Seriously, I hope your not a troll. I would hate to spend this much time debating somebody who was pulling my leg. But if not, If I got caught, I wouldn’t be worried about the Bullet. I would be worried about getting my ass out of federal pound me in the ass prison. Also, the article doesn’t say that these guys did what they’re charged for, it just states there were arrested for it.

    Huh? Oh yeah, the news. That’s how it works.

  130. um

    And now…for the 1st Annual Pretentious Use of Language in Bullet Comments Awards (P.U.L.B.C.A.)…

    3rd prize: @Jamal

    “and with your logic I WIN THE ENTIRE DEBATE since I mentioned nothing relevant but insulted you.”

    Also with that logic, I too win the entire debate.

    2nd prize: @James

    “…a DISTRUBING lack of JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY.”
    “…ignored a BASIC TENET…”
    “…simply REFASHIONED a collection of police reports into an ALARMIST, PEJORATIVE story.”
    “She SULLIED both her own integrity–[here it comes…]–and the boys’ reputation by forsaking TRUE VERISIMILLITUDE [omg marry me]…”
    “And I still haven’t mentioned the fact that you included a F—ING picture [so raw!].”

    I know thesauruses do a vocabulary good…but damn, how many did you consult??

    Grand prize: @Justin Toney, FORMER NEWS EDITOR (omgomgomg)

    “Do not let the anger that comes with controversy dissuade you from being as objective and selfless in your reporting as you have been thus far in both our local publications.”

    “…your justification and your strength comes from reporting upon issues affecting the student body and the institution of UMW. ”

    “As with other Jefferson storms, this too shall pass.”
    (Timeless!! I love how you juxtaposed the inimitable chicanery of Jefferson with the lurking majesty of nature’s wrath, as encapsulated in storms!!)

    “As always, ‘do not wait to strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.'”
    (As always? It’s like you’ve said these words before!!)

    “The voices of the outraged and the ignorant far too often outweigh the CALL TO REASON.”

    “Note also that these latter comments largely express a view defending the freedoms of press and expression SO LONG TREASURED AT OUR INSTITUTION OF LEARNED PEOPLE AND EVER UPHELD BY THE BULLET.”
    (omg I think I just achieved Nirvana).

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for taking part in this enlightened contest. In keeping with the themes of this comment board and the apparent needs of posters, the 3rd prize is a victory trophy, the 2nd prize is a gold-encrusted thesaurus with the word “verisimilitude” engraved on the front, and 1st prize is an all-expenses trip to a detox clinic.

  131. Paul Morris

    @ The Bullet

    Can I write a piece for you guys about how this piece got so much response?

    “College: Playing Grabass”

    It would be a response to the response of a response. Every week we can go deeper down the rabbit hole until we’re doing responses about responses responses responses responses and so on.

    I could write about that one dude who thinks he has an opinion. Or maybe about the guy talking about the word choices of other people.

    I am so ashamed of UMW simply because we all seem to think that we matter. It’s a shame we all didn’t get arrested. Imagine that headline. Entire campus gets arrested and expelled for being stupid pieces of garbage. Sweet.

  132. Anon

    Oh man, you guys, check this out: your opinions don’t matter. You’re not important. These guys are not important. No one cares what any of you have to say.

  133. um

    @Paul Morris. I agree, I too hate and am ashamed of everyone with an opinion, something to say, or irrelevant responses to the comments of others. I’m relieved that you didn’t make any such obnoxious posts to this thread yourself…thank goodness for your clarity of thought and logical abilities. You are truly above the rest of us rabble. I will anxiously await your opinion piece about why having an opinion sucks.

  134. Anonymous

    It’s great to know that the Bullet now posts articles like this. So what, people do stupid things, wrong things. They’re going to get their fair share, is it necessary to publically denounce them too? The Bullet has always been a center of rash stories that tend to be one-sided and poorly written articles with terrible grammar. This just adds to the list. Wonderful start to a journalism career.

  135. Kristin

    While I understand that what our fellow classmates did is illegal and that the Bullet was simply reporting the “facts” collected by the Fredericksburg Police Department I do wish this article might have taken a more critical look at university drug policy and on a broader scale, our nation’s drug policy. Why not use this unfortunate situation as a launching point to discuss why this might have happened and what we can do to change how we deal with nonviolent drug offenses?

    These aren’t hardened criminals, these kids are the boy you sit next in biology or the girl who you borrowed history notes from. When something like this happens it is important to ask the real questions and not just report the facts.

  136. Paul Morris

    @um

    “I agree”
    “I too hate and am ashamed of everyone with an opinion”

    Fallacy. Your argument is invalid.

    “something to say” One could say that to have “something to say” is indeed nothing to say at all?

    “irrelevant responses to the comments of others.” Such as mine responding to yours responding to mine.

    “I’m relieved” No one cares about your worthless emotions. Do us all a favor and hide them from your betters.

    “you didn’t make any such obnoxious posts to this thread yourself” Astute. I was showing to you how stupid your own thoughts were through thoughts that you thought were stupid.

    “thank goodness for your clarity of thought and logical abilities.” You’re welcome, but you’ve still got quite a way to go. <3

    "You are truly above the rest of us rabble." It's a hard road, but someone has to take it for the betterment of humanity.

    " I will anxiously await your opinion piece about why having an opinion sucks." I still have not yet received approval for such a piece. Try to email all those with power who could make our thoughts better known to the public. You'll be like me one day fair friend Um. One day.

    I'm glad you think like this. I thought I was the only one lol.

  137. Nicole

    Guys: I understand that people are angry for a variety of reasons, but a lot of the thread has turned into personal attacks. This seriously is one of those instances where I don’t think a lot of what’s been said would have been put out there in any sort of face-to-face forum. Also, PLEASE everyone consider that when you talk about the writer of this article, or the editors, that they are real people who will read this and be deeply affected. This article was written, and since then there’s been an uproar—but consider how continuing to slam individuals is no longer at all useful (the article is written, I’m SURE the feedback has been received already) and is just detrimental. Please consider, before posting something to this forum, whether you’d say that to another student.

  138. Kyle Shearin

    Maybe the headline should of read “people do stupid things, wrong things.”?

    Oh wait, that wouldn’t of been denouncing as Fifteen Students Face Charges Following Drug Investigation. HOW DARE THEY!

  139. bob

    Wow

  140. Ginger

    I’m with The Bullet on this one for publishing this article…
    Their pictures were put up because they committed a crime, just like what would’ve happened to any other citizen of the world. If a New York citizen had committed the same crimes they did in NY, their pictures, names, ages, etc. would most likely make the New York Times. Therefore, since these people were citizens of the UMW community, their pictures, names, etc. were posted in our paper. Its that simple. When someone takes on an act, they should be ready to assume full responsibility for all of the consequences, whether they are positive or negative. In this situation, those arrested obviously thought the benefits of dealing/doing illegal drugs outweighed the costs (potential or realized, in this case those were realized).
    Also, who the hell mails illegal drugs through the US Postal Service (or any mail delivery system) when it is obviously going to get caught? That is just poor, dumb planning.

  141. Anon Y Mous

    I hate to break the news to all of you who are upset with the Bullet for violating these students’ privacy, but other newspapers print pictures and names of suspects of crimes all the time. The Freelance Star even ran a story regarding this incident and also named several of the suspects (http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2010/102010/10162010/582451). So…if you want to hate The Bullet…better get on hating all of the media outlets. Good luck with that.

  142. James

    @um
    No thesaurus homie, just this human mind and it’s desperate search for mots juste (although ‘verisimilitude’, while correctly used, was indeed pretentious).

  143. Alison

    I wonder why there has been so little discussion/commentary on the follow-up article today? Have people moved on?

  144. confused

    When exactly did The Bullet attempt to contact the accused? Because I know a lot of them and no one has tried to contact them. This imbalance that is created is not good journalism, nor is cutting and pasting press releases into a story. I just fail to understand how it is critical to publish the pictures, names, and hometowns of the accused but it is not just as critical to publish their views or their side of the story. This isn’t a news article, it is a police report. Furthermore, this is a small campus and this is a student newspaper and there should be some sympathy. Drug use is often a symptom of a larger problem. A lot of times they are used as an escape and this type of publicity could push those involved down an even more self destructive path. While journalistically that might not be a concern, as a student it should be, and since like I said, this article wasn’t exactly the best piece of journalism (and that’s putting it mildly), there is no reason that compassion should not have been used while writing it. Additionally, even if one wants to argue that those accused of dealing or using narcotics or facing felony charges should be named, the names of students arrested on marijuana possession charges have been in the past kept in the police beats section and anonymous, so I do not know why that precedent wasn’t followed with those listed just due to marijuana possession. Honestly, this situation just disgusts me. Do people honestly think that in Fredericksburg it’s just the students that deal and purchase drugs? We are along 95 and right between DC and Richmond, it’s only logical that there are drug dealers here who are residents and dealing in quantities far larger than 2 pounds of weed and a few mollies and prescription drugs. Not only that, but there is actual violent crime here as well. Instead of dealing with those problems the focus has been put on the students at our school and our tax money has just been wasted. Instead of keeping students safe, our school and Fredericksburg are targeting students and arresting them to make it seem like something is done about crime in the area while larger problems are being ignored. What other school has done this to their students? It’s not as if drug use is new to college campuses or like it is only happening at our school, so why are our students being targeted?

  145. Individual Right

    The University of Mary Washington’s Police Department (in this series of investigations on all students current and former) and history of how these types of illegal activities have been executed should be carefully looked by the campus student community. In the past, the University of Mary Washington’s Judicial and Student Affairs have first and foremost defended their young students’ privacy prior to the outcome of their trials. I have never seen the Bullet expose and incriminate its own fellow students. I have also never regarded the Bullet chase after these students to gain information on what the Bullet should certainly know as their constitutional right to privacy. I am sure that, once my fellow alumni have read this article, none of us will give further support for the Bullet.

    For what I understand, the University of Mary Washington have had a long-standing reputation for Honor and honesty, however, I am deeply concerned that a turn-around in publicly exposing the images, full names, and age of the alleged students have in fact harmed the University’s reputation.

    The Bullet serves as a torch in leadership and the strength of campus dignity for all students, former and current. However, as a former student of this distinguished University, I cannot see any draw of community strength nor the light of leadership from the University of Mary Washington by exposing these fifteen students. I dearly hope that the University of Mary Washington continue to hold its record as a distinctive campus known to possess “…respect for diverse points of view…” and the Judicial System to provide its students the right “to be presumed not responsible unless found responsible for any charges.”

  146. Stephanie

    I think the article was well written and informative. Those who believe that individual rights were in some way harmed by the printing of this article need to think for a moment about what acts have been committed here. All of these students knew what they were doing was wrong and illegal. If they did not want their names shared for committing such crimes then they should not have committed them. All of the information was made publicly available by the police department as is standard. The Bullet did it’s part by making the campus aware of the misdeeds committed by these student. Personally I do not want my University to become synonymous to such urban decay and I do not want my lungs polluted by those who smoke these drugs in dorm rooms and bathrooms. I am glad they are no longer students here and I can only hope there are more to follow.
    Perhaps you who are defending these wrongdoers so vehemently should ask yourselves if it is only for your own selfish gain, rather than the defense of a peer.

  147. Another Alum

    Individual Right – As a fellow UMW alum I’d like it if you didn’t speak for me by saying all of us will stop supporting the Bullet. Some of us understand that when arrests of this proportion occur, students need to know so that they can maybe learn from these people’s mistakes.

  148. Legal1

    Good job BULLET staff on reporting the hard facts. Intelligent readers can form their own opinions, which many have already done. All of those pictured have very public faces as part of the student body of the university. However, the numerous calls for censorship of very public people at a very public university harken back to Nazi Germany. Is this the way we are raising our kids? Reminded of Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance (don’t tell me what I don’t want to hear) I speculate, does this also carry over into the classroom?

    Bullet Staff is proving once again the true principles of journalism–An Informed Citizen is the Cornerstone to a Democracy. Keep up the good work.

  149. GUILTYUNTILPROVENINNOCENT

    Wel, Thank God we don’t have to waste taxpayer dollars on a trial. These kids are already convicted apparently:

    “Their pictures were put up because they committed a crime”

    “Those who believe that individual rights were in some way harmed by the printing of this article need to think for a moment about what acts have been committed here. ”

    “Good job BULLET staff on reporting the hard facts.”

    ” I reckon that these guys should be punished for their illegal actions.”

    “Maybe if they didn’t want their pictures posted on the internet in relation to felony drug charges they shouldn’t have been buying/using/intending to sell in the first place!”

    Anyone EVER hear of being innocent until proven guilty ?
    It is why most reputable newspapers use the word “alleged” in front of criminal or perpetrator in reporting arrests, and try not to unnecessarily ruin the reputations of the arrested and smear them as guilty, plastering their photos all over the newspaper, just on the off chance that somehow they just might turn out to be roped into something they were not guilty of.

    Why, just think what could happen then ? God forbid– the newspaper could be sued.

  150. A. Nonymous

    GuiltyUntilProvenInnocent – Again, as has been previously pointed out, once charges are filed and an arrest made, it’s standard practice for pictures of the suspects and their names to be run (unless there are exigent circumstances, like being a minor). Examples can be found at the following:

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com
    http://www.cnn.com (search any celebrity name or just go to their U.S. section and look for a legal story)
    – Every major newspaper in the country

  151. Laura

    I feel the bullet did it’s job in stating the facts. They did what other local newspapers do. No one complains about them publishing names, ages, and photos. The people we should be mad at is those involved in the crimes. Our schools reputation is at stake due to their act. Not only did they shame our community, but they shamed their peers as well.

  152. Mr. Troutman

    This is all water under the bridge for me. I am relieved to not be a part of this University. I am a successful businessman now; I am young, healthy, and clean. This may stay online forever. However, your staff really should have checked their facts. Sebastian was never a student at UMW and we never conducted a drug transaction before being arrested. My comments have never been approved to post and I was never approached for comment about this situation. This event changed my life, but it is nowhere close to defining who I am and what I’ve been through. I have been in a coma, seen the world, and affiliate with influential people you hear and see everyday that I never would have imagined meeting unless I departed from UMW. I thank you so much for being such a close minded liberal arts school. You instilled determination from this experience to roll with the shots and not let a single event define me. Bless Up!