By Darrell Doan
Christian Action League
December 23, 2020
Last week, The Department of Justice said that 21 people would face federal charges from a $1.5 million drug bust that involved fraternity members and students from three North Carolina universities, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Appalachian State.
The bust resulted from an investigation stretching back to 2018 in which authorities discovered more than 1000 pounds of marijuana and hundreds of kilograms of cocaine were trafficked. Other illicit drugs listed that were distributed included ecstasy, steroids, and human growth hormones.
Court filings name the UNC chapters of Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma, and Beta Theta Pi for moving hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug activity from 2017-2020. Authorities said that drug activity was “pervasive” in and around fraternities.
According to the DOJ’s official statement, “investigators utilized information from cooperating sources and cooperating defendants, and investigative methods such as controlled purchases, undercover purchases, financial investigation, surveillance, and analysis of electronic devices. Ultimately, investigators discovered that individuals were shipping cocaine from California via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and transporting marijuana by motor vehicle. Involved parties shipped bulk cash proceeds from illegal drug transactions through the USPS. Other proceeds, estimated to be approximately 1.3 million dollars, transferred hands through financial institutions utilizing money orders, Western Union, and mobile payment applications.”
“No one is above the law, including college students and fraternity members at elite universities. This serious drug trafficking is destructive and reckless, and many lives have been ruined,” said Matthew Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina. “This investigation reveals that the fraternity culture at these universities is dangerous. University administrators and national chapters cannot turn a blind eye to the impact on these students and the environment on their respective college campuses. The drug culture feeds many other problems on campus and in our society.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said he was deeply saddened in hearing about the arrests of the young people involved.
“I suppose I ought to feel glad that they were arrested. Maybe someone thinks I ought to feel happy that they will get their just desserts of a possible 5 to 10-year prison sentence. But I don’t feel that way at all. These young people are just starting in life, and because they’ve done something incredibly stupid, they’re going to have to live with its consequences the rest of their lives,” said Rev. Creech.
Creech added that some people would say the best way to deal with the drug problem is to legalize them.
“That’s just wrong,” said Rev. Creech. “That’s surrender to an evil which is destroying millions of lives. It’s surrender to the murderous cartels. It’s surrendering our young people to the harmful effects of impairment, less productive lives, and possibly even death. The problem is that we aren’t serious enough about this issue. We’ve tackled the drug problem before with success. From 1972 to 1992, this country reduced drug use by fifty percent. But then we took it seriously as a nation and as a people. Today we’ve lost our sensibility. Our youth are getting all the wrong messages. Marijuana is depicted not as something harmful, but as medicine – something helpful. Drug use today is glamorized and even celebrated in movies and on television. Do you think drugs would be so much a part of our universities and college cultures if it weren’t considered something ‘cool’ to do? Years ago, if you were caught with marijuana, you would get thrown out of school. Today it’s the guy with the medical marijuana card who is considered ‘the man.’”
Rev. Creech believes what’s needed today is a national campaign against drugs, much like the one executed against tobacco use. “Once, it was cool to smoke, but today it’s considered an awful thing to do. If you want to smoke, we say, ‘get yourself outside.’ It’s stigmatized. Why do we see cigarette use this way? It is because there was a time when nearly everyone got involved from the top-down, everybody from a wide swath: educators, politicians, athletes, entertainment celebrities, etc. We should fight drugs with the same passion and a similar strategy. We should fight it as we do other matters like racism. But we first have to wake-up to the fact that this problem is seriously undermining the character and the strength of this nation,” said Rev. Creech.
WRAL News said that they reached out to several individuals who faced charges, but none would comment.