Music majors arrested in drug-making case

Nov. 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM
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BEREA, Ohio, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Four music majors at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, were arrested and charged with running an on-campus drug lab, officials said.

Benjamin Knight, 24, Lauren Pajerski, 22, Max Cickovskis, 22, and Jonathan Beckwith, 23, were indicted Nov. 16 on various charges, including cultivating marijuana and possession of drug-making chemicals. Knight and Pajerski were also charged with theft and burglary, The (Cleveland0 Plain Dealer reported Tuesday.

The case against them began in May, when Knight and Pajerski allegedly stole material from a campus chemistry lab.

"They had boxed up chemicals and equipment and had other lab equipment running," said Berea Police detective Dennis Bort, the lead investigator who spent months assembling the case, noting a lab was set up in an empty dorm room to make Ecstacy, a stimulant/hallucinogen with a manufacturing process relatively complicated compared to the more prevalent methamphetamine.

Bort added investigators found text messages on the accused students' cellphones and computers, outlining methods of manufacturing drugs and advice on ordering ingredients.

The four are to be arraigned in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Dec. 4, the newspaper said.

Describing the accused as typical "suburban kids with silver spoons. They were good students," Bort said, "I am just grateful noting blew up and no one got hurt. The moral of this case is: book-smart, street-stupid."

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