Now that the school year has begun for college students around the state, police are on the lookout for any illegal activities happening on or near dozens of campuses. They know that thousands of students often attend parties that celebrate something going on in the fall (whether it’d be a football game or homecoming), many of which involve some form of drug dealing.
Students that they will especially keep an eye on are members of one of the local college’s fraternities. Many Greek life organizations in Florida over the years have gotten a bad reputation due to the mistakes of individual chapters. Dozens of members over the years have been arrested for dealing or possessing illegal substances such as cocaine and marijuana. If you are thinking of one of your college’s fraternities or are already a member of one, you should learn from these mistakes to avoid ruining you and your chapter’s future opportunities at school.
Online chats aren’t so private
Thanks to the ever-expanding social media apps, fraternity brothers don’t have to physically meet up to speak to each other. Many Greek life organizations use online applications such as Facebook, Discord or GroupMe to plan upcoming events, bring up concerns or just to have simple conversations with each other.
Drug dealers have also taken advantage of the newer technology to plan out deals quickly instead of taking time out of their busy schedules to put in a meeting. Florida International University in particular has had a couple of instances where fraternity members use their private social media pages to offer drug sales and post inappropriate content.
Even though your chapter may think your chat is private, there are plenty of ways it could get sent to the police. There could be an undercover cop going to school as a student, one member could be a police informant or maybe one member could no longer withstand the crude behavior and took screenshots of your conversations. Most of the comments made in these chats stay there for a while, so they can be easy evidence to use against you and your chapter.
Hazing is still horrifying
Autumn is also pledging season for a large portion of Greek life organizations at Florida colleges. Despite universities all around the country warning about the dangers of hazing, many fraternities continue to do so. Florida defines hazing as an act that “recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student” for the purpose of getting into the organization. Pressuring or coercing the student into drug consumption is one of the many forms of hazing.
Hazing can already result in possible misdemeanor or felony charges, but it can get even worse if one of the students dies or ends up with severe injuries. When a Florida State University pledge died in 2017, the police investigated the rooms of several of the fraternity members shortly afterwards and arrested them for drug sales.
In addition to paying hefty fines and serving possible time in prison, the school can suspend you and your fraternity for criminal actions. If you and your other fraternity members are wrongfully accused of drug dealing and possession, you should consider contacting an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to assist in your case.