Multiple TCU Students Arrested In Campus Drug Bust
Editor’s note: Fort Worth Police issued a warrant for a man who shared a name with the individual targeted in the investigation, said Fort Worth Police spokesman Pedro Criado. The department used the wrong birthday and driver’s license photo and are redrawing the warrant. CBS 11 News has redacted that name until the proper warrant is issued.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A six-month drug investigation at TCU led to the arrest of 15 students Wednesday, school and police officials said.
Four of those arrested were football players, including Tanner Brock, a linebacker who led the team in tackles during the Horned Frogs’s 2010 run to the Rose Bowl.
TCU Police Chief Steve McGee said the students were considered drug dealers, selling cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and prescription drugs to undercover officers both on and off campus.
One other suspect, Hunter Wallace McLaughlin, 24, remains at large. Fort Worth Police have not released an official name of the man who the erroneous warrant was issued for.
Nearly all of those who were arrested were charged with multiple offenses, and sold narcotics across the city, from a Kroger parking lot on S. University near campus to Tomlinson Hall in the 3500 block of Pond Dr., home to the Phi Delta fraternity.
Eight of the suspects arrested were charged with delivering a controlled substance. According to the myriad arrest warrants, police officers were able to purchase marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, oxycontin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, promethazine/codeine cough syrup and Xanax in the drug sting.
Arrest affidavits describe scenes of flippant narcotic purchases, of students who coordinated the sale of more than 250 Xanax pills while they attended a football game in Houston and another who kept more than an ounce of cocaine hidden in a dorm room safe.
LISTEN: TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. press conference
TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini said the arrests were made in conjunction between the TCU and Fort Worth Police departments early Wednesday morning.
McGee said the students were parts of multiple loosely tied groups. Four football players were arrested, and two of the suspects were not students at TCU.
In the arrest affidavit, Brock, the linebacker, referred to a surprise drug test that Coach Garry Patterson gave the team. The officer writes that while buying marijuana on Feb. 1, he asked Brock whether he would pass, to which the player responded “I failed that b— for sure.”
The officer reports that Brock said he wasn’t worried about the results because there “would be about 60 people being screwed.”
“Brock said that his friend Ty (Ty Horn, also arrested in the sting) looked through the roster today and said that there were only 20 people that would pass the test on the team,” the affidavit reads.
Brock sold the officer 13.89 grams of marijuana before leaving the residence, the third time the football player alleged sold an undercover officer the drug, the affidavit says.
In a statement, TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said the statements could not be verified.
“The comments about failed drug tests made by the separated players in affidavits cannot be verified simply because they were made in the context of a drug buy,” she wrote in an email. TCU drug tests its student-athletes on a regular basis. Any student found in violation of TCU’s drug abuse policy is subject to university disciplinary action.”
Four current members of the Horned Frog football team were arrested:
- Defensive Tackle David Yendry, charged with four counts of felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds, three of which in a drug-free zone; two counts delivery of marijuana less than 1/4 ounce.
- Strong Safety Devin Johnson, charged with three counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- Offensive Tackle Ty Horn, charged with felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds in a drug-free zone; misdemeanor delivery of marijuana less than 1/4 ounce in a drug free zone.
- Linebacker Tanner Wilson Brock, charged with three counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
The other suspects who were arrested are:
- 21-year-old Bud Dillard, charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance between 28 grams and 200 grams.
- 19-year-old Cynthia Zambrano, charged with two counts felony delivery of a controlled substance less than one gram.
- 21-year-old Earl Burke, charged with one count felony delivery of a controlled substance greater than 28 grams and less than 200 grams; felony delivery of a controlled substance less than 28 grams.
- 19-year-old Jonathan Blake Jones, charged with felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- 21-year-old Eduardo Hernandez, charged with four counts of felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- 20-year-old Katherine Petrie, charged with one count unlawful delivery of a simulated controlled substance; one count delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce less than five pounds .
- 21-year-old Matthew Davis, charged with four counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- 20-year-old Michael King, charged with three counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- 21-year-old Peter Signavong, charged with five counts felony delivery of a controlled substance between one and four grams; one count misdemeanor delivery of marijuana less than 1/4 ounce.
- 19-year-old Richard Putney, charged with two counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds, one of which in a drug-free zone; one count misdemeanor delivery of marijuana less than 1/4 ounce.
- 20-year-old Scott Anderson, charged with felony delivery of a controlled substance less than 28 grams; felony delivery of a controlled substance greater than one gram; two counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds, one of which in a drug-free zone.
- 20-year-old Taylor Codwin, charged with felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
- 20-year-old William Jennings, charged with three counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds in a drug free zone; one count delivery of a controlled substance less than 28 grams.
One suspect that police have named remains at large:
- 24-year-old Hunter McLaughlin, charged with four counts felony delivery of marijuana greater than 1/4 ounce and less than five pounds.
Arrest warrants show Dillard helped sell an undercover officer 250 Xanax pills for $775 out of a residence in the 3200 block of Waits Ave. on Dec. 29. Dillard was at a football game in Houston at the time, and had his roommate Burke facilitate the deal.
When the officer told Dillard about the sale, Dillard allegedly said, “Good, good.”
The warrant says a resident on the street had alerted police to narcotics activity there.
Carpenter sold an undercover officer 15 hydrocodone pain pills and four Xanax on Nov. 3 at a CVS parking lot in the 2600 block of West Berry, the warrant alleges.
On Nov. 7, Carpenter sold four ounces of promethazine/codeine cough syrup and two hydromorphone pills to an agent in a Kroger parking lot in the 3100 block of University. And on Nov. 16, Carpenter sold the officer four pills of oxycontin –– a powerful opiate –– to an officer in that same parking lot.
Zambrano attempted to sell two pills of oxymorphone –– another powerful opiate –– to an agent, one of which tested positive for the chemical, the warrant reads.
Burke sold 20 Xanax pills to an undercover agent on Nov. 17, the warrant alleges, and helped facilitate Dillard’s sale of 250 more on Dec. 29. And once again on Feb. 1, Burke allegedly sold 50 more Xanax pills to an officer at his home in the 3200 block of Waits Ave.
On Nov. 16, Anderson sold an officer 50 hydrocodone pills and had sold an officer marijuana three times since November.
A warrant for Petrie says the 20-year-old sold a police officer 10 hits of LSD in a parking lot.
Signavong is accused of selling an officer 3.5 grams of cocaine and one hit of LSD on Oct. 10. Two days later, he allegedly sold an undercover officer three grams of cocaine and quarter ounce of marijuana. On Oct. 13, he sold an officer five clear capsules believed be powered MDMA, or ecstasy in his dorm room.
On Nov. 2, he again sold an officer 3.5 grams of cocaine, the warrant says.
And in addition to three counts of felony delivery of marijuana, Jennings sold 10 Xanax pills to an officer on Jan. 26, a warrant alleges.
School athletics officials commented on the involvement of football players, expressing shock that the arrests came within a program that was the only top 25 team in the nation to have no players on its roster with criminal records in 2010, according to Sports Illustrated.
“We have an excellent athletics program at TCU, and an indicator of that excellence is the fact that we will not tolerate criminal conduct among our student-athletes,” said Chris Del Conte, director of intercollegiate athletics. “Our student-athletes are a microcosm of society and, unfortunately, that means some of our players reflect a culture that glorifies drugs and drug use. That mindset is not reflected by TCU, nor will it be allowed within athletics.”
Football coach Gary Patterson echoed Del Conte’s statements, saying the issue is not isolated to TCU.
“Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff,” Patterson said. “I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins and losses.”
The school says the investigation is ongoing, and there could be more arrests.
“This is the start of it. I think this is a very clear message to everyone in this community that we’re not going to tolerate it. And that we’re out in front of it before something terrible happens,” Boschini told reporters. “I’m extremely concerned … if one kid is involved with this, it’s one kid too many.”
Two of the students arrested were part of TCU’s chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Robert A. Biggs, executive vice president of the fraternity, said fraternity operations have been suspended pending an investigation by Phi Delta alumni.
Depending on the facts, sanctions could follow according to the investigation, he said, noting that only two of the 100-plus members are allegedly involved.
The university said any student who was arrested and found in violation of distributing drugs could be expelled.
Currently, the students have been ‘separated’ from the school, meaning they are not allowed to attend classes, and those that live on campus cannot access their room.
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