Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Students stung in drug bust

By Sheila McLaughlin, smclaughlin@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Two Bowling Green State University students are due in court today involving the seizure of more than 20 pounds of “high-grade” marijuana worth $100,000 on the street.

        Springboro police and the Warren County Drug Task Force arrested Michael Ryan Garity, 22, and Brian C. Mutter, 21, at the Holiday Inn Express in Springboro Thursday. The two men are accused of selling 12 pounds of the substance to undercover officers, task force commander John Burke said.

        Charged with felony drug trafficking, both men are free after posting bond on Friday. They are scheduled for arraignment today in Warren County Court.

        Mr. Burke said 10 to 15 smaller undercover drug buys over the past three months led them to the college roommates.

        “They were bringing large amounts down and selling to one or two large distributors,” Mr. Burke said Monday. “This is part of this loose-knit organization where somebody in the past had discovered them as a source.”

        Drug agents are attempting to identify the students' suppliers, he said.

        Undercover agents paid Mr. Garity and Mr. Mutter about $30,000 for the marijuana, said Mr. Burke.

        Following the arrests, Bowling Green Police seized five pounds of the drug and more than $4,000 in cash after a search warrant was issued for the Manville Street residence where the two men lived. Local drug agents confiscated Mr. Mutter's 2000 Volkswagen Jetta.

        Mr. Burke described the two as “typical college kids” who came from well-to-do families out of state. One of the men is scheduled to graduate this month.

        “They were very concerned about getting back to their class on Friday,” he said.


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