By Jane Dail
Saturday, January 19, 2013
An ECU fraternity busted by Greenville police on Wednesday is being investigated by the university and its national organization to determine further sanctions.
Sigma Phi Epsilon’s national headquarters told its East Carolina University chapter to cease all operations pending the outcome of the an investigation, the organization said in a statement issued on Friday by Executive Director Brian Warren.
It also suspended members charged with drug and theft-related crimes related to Wednesday’s search by police.
ECU Student Involvement and Leadership Executive Director Bobby Woodard said the university still is in preliminary stages of its investigation and has yet to deliver sanctions. He said university officials have been in contact with SigEp’s national headquarters, which is conducting its own investigation.
“Sigma Phi Epsilon has a zero-tolerance policy for drug-use by members and in any chapter house,” Warren said in his statement. “Chapters and their members are expected to act in accordance with SigEp’s values and policies. The fraternity holds member accountable for behavior that is not consistent with the fraternity’s mission and values.”
Three members were arrested on drug charges after an officer spotted stolen street signs hanging on the walls at the local house at 505 E. Fifth St., the police department reported on Friday. A subsequent search located marijuana and Adderall inside the residence.
Officer J.W. Wooten was patrolling on East Fifth near Summit Street about 9 p.m. on Wednesday when he saw the signs in the front room from his patrol car, a news release said. Further investigation by Officer Wooten led to the recovery of 12 stolen street signs.
While conducting that investigation, Wooten developed probable cause to apply for a search warrant of the house, the release said. The search resulted in the seizure of 49 grams of marijuana packaged for resale, a digital scale, three Adderall pills and $80 cash.
Levi Coleman, 21, is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintain a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.
James Mead, 21, is charged with possession of schedule II controlled substances (Adderall), maintain a dwelling for purpose of selling controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia
Collin King, 21, is charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintain a dwelling for the purpose of selling controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.
All three were jailed under $25,000 secured bonds, police reported. The signs at the house belonged to the city and were returned to the public works department.
Two other residents were cited with misdemeanors in connection to the signs, police said. Three more were cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Warren said the fraternity will cooperate fully with the investigation and that the suspensions of its members and the order to cease operations will remain in effect while the investigation continues.
Woodard said 19 people live in the house and the fraternity has 45 members in all. The chapter was founded in 1961, though its charter was revoked and reinstated two years ago.
“In 2010, the national, not ECU, but SigEp national actually suspended the ECU chapter for not living up to expectations, is what we were told,” Woodard said.
“Then in April 2011, the ECU (chapter) of SigEp went and appealed to SigEp National, and they overturned and allowed the fraternity to come back after they did an audit of their current members.”
SigEp rented its house to another Greek organization between January 2011 and August 2012, then moved back in that month.
Woodard said the university and national Greek organizations often work together.
“Usually, the university (and national organizations) work hand-in-hand with each other,” he said. “If one does something, the other one does it. … We’ll tell what we recommend and hear what they recommend, and then we come to a deciding factor at the end of it.”
Woodard said ECU can pull privilege rights from Greek organizations to be affiliated with the university, though the national organizations are the only ones who can dissolve chapters.
Contact Jane Dail at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9585.
via The Daily Reflector.