MIRANDA MARITATO | Staff Reporter
Eleven people are facing federal charges in connection with a drug trafficking operation in the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood.
Investigators said the men involved had stashed cocaine in houses around the Bulter-Tarkington area, according to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department statements released last week.
The operation had been running for more than two years. If convicted, some of the defendants face a minimum penalty of 10 years to life to 20 years to life without parole.
A National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 12.3 percent of people ages 18 to 25 use cocaine. Crack cocaine use in that age group totals to 1.9 percent.
Nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs at least once a month, according to a study published in USA Today. College students have higher rates of alcohol or drug addition than the general public.
There are more than 6,000 cocaine addicts living in Indianapolis, Ind., and it is estimated that 43 lives will be lost from illicit drug use this year according to Indianapolis Substance Abuse Statistics.
During his three years with the Butler University Police Department, Detective Bruce Allee said he has not seen cocaine on campus.
While the recent bust did not involve Butler specifically, Butler’s campus is not immune to drug use.
“Adderall is the biggest substance problem on campus right now,” Allee said. “It is a prescription drug, so having it without a prescription is a D Felony. That is something kids aren’t aware of.”
Allee said BUPD sees some minor marijuana investigations.
“If we can file charges, we file charges. If we cannot, it gets sent to student affairs,” he said.
Being charged with a felony can result in loss of scholarships and possibly expulsion, Allee said.
“My main concern is students trying to experiment with heroin,” Allee said. “Heroin has made a big comeback in the cities and that’s where a lot of our students come from. We have not made any heroin arrests on campus, but I’m confident it’s around. Heroin is a big problem at Indiana University, there’s no doubt in my mind that we have heroin users unfortunately.”
In the next year, Allee hopes to see an awareness program for heroin use from the counseling center.
“If a student sees a friend who’s starting to experiment with heroin, make an intervention,” Allee said. “To see a person get addicted to drugs and not intervene is very sad.”