Four Students Arrested on Various Marijuana Charges

Three members of the Theta Chi fraternity and an ROTC student were arrested early Feb. 27 and charged with possession of cannabis, possession with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Austin Hall residents informed campus security of possible drug use in several dorm rooms. Before Tampa Police arrived, UT Security entered the student’s room and found 290 grams of marijuana (nearly two thirds of a pound), according to TPD records.

The students were released on bond later on Tuesday. The Minaret sent an e-mail to each of the students. Only one replied, but he declined comment, saying that he had not spoken with his attorney.

Jordan Chariton, president of Theta Chi Fraternity, declined to confirm if the students were members of Theta Chi and suggested The Minaret contact the Student Conduct Office for more details about the incident.

“We will be dealing with [the students] consistently and appropriately,” said Associate Dean of Students Gina Firth.

One of the students told a neighbor that he regretted having the pot. He also said that he was suspended and had to be off campus by 6 p.m. Feb. 27.

One Theta Chi member has been reinstated at UT and is no longer under suspension after a hearing with Gina Firth on March 1 which determined there was not sufficient evidence connecting the student and the drugs found in the room, according to Chariton. The student will be able to attend classes and normal university functions.

Brian Knotts, a member of Theta Chi, said the incident was worrisome.

“We don’t want people to look down on our fraternity because of the actions of three of our members. We still do a lot of positive things for the community,” he said.

The Minaret decided after careful deliberation not to publish the names of the students to avoid implying guilt and causing undue long-term harm to the students. The identities of the students charged are publicly available.

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