For some reason the students living in the University of Miami dorms are given advanced notice before the inspectors come to check their rooms. I’m guessing this happens for two reasons: (1) the school can make sure that the students will be in their rooms and thus be held accountable and (2) it gives the students time to hide anything that might get them in trouble which then saves the University of Miami any legal debacles stemming from having to arrest students. Well, one student really bungled his opportunity to not get raked over hot coals.
When one student found out the inspection was coming he busted out a mirror, chopped up some lines of powdered sugar to look like cocaine, and left a rolled up dollar bill on the mirror. Frankly if I were that student at this point I’d have thought that the prank was pretty good and that whoever found the powdered sugar would’ve been slightly angered but would’ve used proper judgement and realized it was just a prank. None of that happened though, because the inspectors found the powdered sugar and immediately arrested him, charging him with felony cocaine possession and he is now facing expulsion from the University of Miami.
The Miami New Times reports:
Last month, Jonathan Harrington thought he’d have some fun with the search. Before inspectors arrived, the 21-year-old English major left lines of white powder on the coffee table and kitchen counter, a rolled-up dollar bill, and seven white pills. Because the lines were just powdered sugar and the pills aspirin, Harrington figured everyone would get a good chuckle out of it and move on.
Instead, Harrington ended up handcuffed, dragged to jail, and charged with felony cocaine possession.
“It was indeed powdered sugar — 23.7 grams of the finest you can buy at Publix. I know the amount from the police report,” Harrington insists. “I doubt they’d believe me. To them it is more plausible that I left $1,500 worth of cocaine strewn around my apartment.”
The trouble began August 30 when housing officials discovered Harrington’s stash and — following protocol — phoned University of Miami Police to test the powder and pills. That’s when Harrington busted in and, according to the police report, said, “I guess you guys are here about the powdered-sugar prank!”
Police noted the white tablets were indeed marked as aspirin. But when they tested the white powder, it came back positive for cocaine. Harrington was arrested on the spot and spent the night and following day in jail, sleeping on hard plastic chairs and eating ham sandwiches.
What exactly happened? Harrington insists the drug field test yielded a false positive.
Harrington’s roommate, Kritos Vasiloudes, backs up his story of a powdered-sugar prank. Vasiloudes told police that Harrington tipped him off about the prank and that he agreed to go along. But Vasiloudes says he was studying in his room when Harrington staged the scene.
For now, Harrington faces arraignment next week on one felony count of cocaine possession, which carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. At UM, he faces suspension but says those proceedings have been paused until the court matter is settled.
The ‘false positive’ from the field test is actually likely, as Jess Swanson of the Miami New Times points out this has happened several times in the past. These field tests are not always accurate, and in this case that means that the student is facing felony drug charges and the prospect of getting kicked out of college, all because of a harmless prank.
Miami has long been synonymous with ‘cocaine’, and because of that they really don’t mess around down there when it comes to possession of blow. I’m willing to wager that two hundred years from now (if the city isn’t underwater from global warming) the city of Miami still won’t have shook off its image as the cocaine capital of America. The cocaine boom of the 70’s were just really damaging to public persona of Miami, and that’s why it’s NEVER a good idea to dabble in cocaine pranks in Miami.
It’s just like you wouldn’t make bomb jokes on a plane, you should know it’s not a good idea. And now that we’ve established that the prank was not a good idea we need to get these cops and the University of Miami to chill the fuck out on this kid. If it really was powdered sugar then there’s not an issue at all here, it was a prank, and they need to treat it as such. For more on this story you can follow this links above to the Miami New Times!