Warrants yield small amount of marijuana
Four search warrants were served on May 3 in room 137 and room 133 in Olson and room 324 in Larson, as well as at 611 North St., also known as “Green House,” resulting in marijuana-related charges for eight Luther students.
Residents of 611 North Street Sokol Nasi (‘12), Rick Gauthier (‘12), Raza Janjua (‘12), Carl Sorge (‘12), Ryan Bastian (‘12) and Perran Wetzel (‘13) have been accused of “gathering where controlled substances [were] unlawfully used” according to the police citation. Corbin Gallagher (‘13) stopped at the residence during the search and was issued citations for “possession of a controlled substance (marijuana)” and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Courtney Cody (‘14) was in the vehicle with Gallagher and was also charged with “possession of a controlled substance.”
According to a news release, Decorah Police were assisted in the search by the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department, Calmar/Ossian Police, Iowa State Patrol, Monona Police, Postville Police, Luther College Security and Winneshiek County Emergency Government.
Residents declined to comment on specific charges pending legal advice, though they shared details about the night in question.
Janjua felt that officers used excessive force during the investigation.
“There were over 25 cops and they came in here with bullet proof vests, dogs and riot glasses but they didn’t even explain the search warrant,” Janjua said. “It was ridiculous … they said four months of preparation went into this bust. But there was no [drug] sales operation going on here.”
Janjua also felt that officers misrepresented his and his housemates’ statements.
“They didn’t record our interviews or even take notes,” Janjua said. “The affidavits don’t match what we said.”
The Decorah Police were unavailable to comment on this claim.
Sorge explained how the investigation is affecting his final weeks at Luther.
“We come to Luther so that we can have a better future and this is something everyone in the house cares about,” Sorge said. “They confiscated our laptops and cell phones, so it’s harder to get class work done or even contact anyone.”
Residents reported that they expect a court date in late May or early June.