A pair of former Wesleyan University students accused of dealing a bad batch of the party drug MDMA on campus will face federal drug charges. U.S. attorney Deirdre M. Daly announced Friday that 22-year-old Eric Lonergan and 21-year-old Zachary Kramer were indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts of selling controlled substances, the New York Times reports.
The charges stem from a February 2015 party on the Middletown, Connecticut campus where 12 people overdosed and were sent to the hospital, including two in critical condition, after ingesting a tainted batch of Molly allegedly distributed by Kramer. Five students, including Lonergan and Kramer, were arrested and “permanently dismissed” from the university following the incident.
“Our hope is that this prosecution puts to bed the misperception that synthetic drugs are harmless party drugs,” Daly, the United States attorney for Connecticut, said in a statement. “As the allegations in this indictment clearly show, these drugs are highly dangerous. Many of the Wesleyan students who overdosed were seriously ill, and one student nearly died.”
The charges against Kramer and Lonergan include conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute, attempted distribution of MDMA and distribution of AB Fubinaca. Each of the charges carries a possible prison sentence of 20 years plus a fine of up to $1 million. Additionally, Kramer and Lonergan are also accused of selling MDMA within 1,000 feet of a private college. If convicted of that charge, the pair will face a minimum of one year in prison with maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
The federal indictment detailed a long-running drug-selling operation that Lonergan began in November 2013. In September 2014, a bad batch of MDMA distributed by Lonergan led to several overdoses at Wesleyan. When the university issued a campus-wide message warning of the dangers of MDMA, Lonergan handed out his own pamphlet informing students how to properly use psychedelic drugs. Kramer took over as the operation’s primary distributor in December 2014; two months later, 12 people overdosed.
According to the Wesleyan Arbus, the Molly sold by Kramer was tainted with “K2” and “Spice,” nicknames for a form of synthetic marijuana. Police confirmed that a sample of the tainted MDMA obtained following the February overdoses tested positive for AB-Fubinaca, a substance found in synthesized marijuana and a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States.