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IDs in Georgetown drug lab arrests

Washington Post Editors

Update, 4 p.m.:
Federal officials have dropped the charges against John Romano. Smith and Perrone appeared in U.S. District Court in D.C. and were ordered held until a detention hearing later this week. They are charged with conspiracy to manufacture and possess and distribute DMT, a hallucinogenic drug.

-- Paul Duggan

Original post:

District police have identified two students and a campus visitor who were arrested Saturday on charges that they maintained a drug lab in a Georgetown University freshman dorm.

Georgetown students Charles Smith and John Romano, who live on the ninth floor of Harbin Hall, and John Perrone, a visitor and friend of one of the students, were arrested and charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.

Police said the three had a lab set up to produce the hallucinogenic drug DMT in the campus dorm room.

District police did not release the ages or the home towns of the three. Police also did not say how much, if any, of the drug was found, although officials said chemicals used in the production of the drug were discovered in the room.

Police were alerted to the room early Saturday when people reported a chemical odor in the building, later prompting a series of evacuations. District officials said that a few people were treated for exposure to the chemicals but that they posed no further threat to other dorm residents.

-- Josh White

By Washington Post Editors  | October 25, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Josh White, Narcotics, Schools, The District, Updates  
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Comments

These kids are so privileged. They take everything for granted. They should get punished to the full extent of the law and be expelled. But, you know what will happen...Rich parents, will hire an attorney and they will get a slap on the risk. Then in a few years they will be handling your money on Wall Street.
Come on Georgetown University: Set an example.
These stupid kids could have killed innocent college students...

Posted by: mrdcnews | October 25, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

slap on the risk? presumably you are not a georgetown graduate. we don't know anything about these people except that they are amateur chemists. reserve judgment.

Posted by: chetsteadman | October 25, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"But, you know what will happen...Rich parents, will hire an attorney and they will get a slap on the risk. Then in a few years they will be handling your money on Wall Street."

Yeah, if they aren't on K Street lobbying for the Wall Street crowd.

Let some black kid from the 'hood get caught selling these rich kids some weed. They'll throw him UNDER the jail.

Posted by: ceefer66 | October 25, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

SEND THEM BACK TO MEXICO!!! If it wasn't for illegals, this crime would never had happened

Posted by: paliceag | October 25, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

While I guess they are technically innocent until proven guilty I can only imagine the explanation of the lab being set up in the room.
That had to be a hoot to listen to...
Shockingly dumb though...likely to have a felony conviction on their records and now have rendered themselves unemployable in practically any profession.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | October 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that the Washington Post had such minimal coverage for this story. Those of us with college-age children or grandchildren would like to know more about these young people how they were admitted to a supposedly selective school.

If I had a child attending Georgetown, I would be absolutely furious.

Posted by: asher_a | October 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

@mrdcnews - you are an idiot. we do not know anything about these kids except that they have been charged.

Posted by: funkey | October 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Reading all of the previous comments have only made me laugh and left to wonder how uninformed the commentors are about DMT, being that it is a chemical that your body creates naturally and nearly every other plant or animal.

Posted by: rubanban516 | October 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

mrdcnews and ceefer66, please reserve your judgements. As a Georgetown student living on the floor where this incident occured, I can tell you that both of these boys are good people who made a stupid mistake. I would like to make it clear that neither of these kids were overprivileged, spoiled, or entitled. I knew one of them very well and know that he loved it here and is one of the best people I know.

We all know people make mistakes, and it DOES upset me that they put so many lives in danger, but they made a stupid decision to experiment for their own entertainment (with no intent to distribute) and ended up in the situation they did. I agree that they should NOT have partaken in this dangerous activity, but I can't stand how nearly all the articles on this incident contrast Georgetown's "elite, preppy image" with the shocking discovery of a drug lab. We are still a college and everyone has their own forms of entertainment, so why do people think it should be less likely to happen here at GU?

Also, just to clarify, none of the drug was found in the room and they were not currently manufacturing, nor was there evidence that they have manufactured in the past. What was found were common household products that when put together form the drug. This is what caused the suspicion and the claim of "maintaining a drug lab."

Posted by: georgetownharbin9 | October 25, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

mrdcnews and ceefer66, please reserve your judgements. As a Georgetown student living on the floor where this incident occured, I can tell you that both of these boys are good people who made a stupid mistake. I would like to make it clear that neither of these kids were overprivileged, spoiled, or entitled. I knew one of them very well and know that he loved it here and is one of the best people I know.

We all know people make mistakes, and it DOES upset me that they put so many lives in danger, but they made a stupid decision to experiment for their own entertainment (with no intent to distribute) and ended up in the situation they did. I agree that they should NOT have partaken in this dangerous activity, but I can't stand how nearly all the articles on this incident contrast Georgetown's "elite, preppy image" with the shocking discovery of a drug lab. We are still a college and everyone has their own forms of entertainment, so why do people think it should be less likely to happen here at GU?

Also, just to clarify, none of the drug was found in the room and they were not currently manufacturing, nor was there evidence that they have manufactured in the past. What was found were common household products that when put together form the drug. This is what caused the suspicion and the claim of "maintaining a drug lab."

Posted by: georgetownharbin9 | October 25, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

If the authorities found no drugs the bad boys are innocent.Pending charges should be dismissed!

Posted by: maxsgami | October 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are people upset, the kids took their own initiative not to enrich criminal networks. They weren't making escapist drugs to make their bodies feel good. They were producing a substance to explore their consciousness which has been used for centuries to pursue understanding of who and what we are. Creative people ingesting Psychedelic drugs have helped produced much of the popular culture this country holds dear. Don't be so ignorant as to think conventional western psychology and religion are the only legitimate paths to understanding life.

Posted by: usaisaok | October 25, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

georgetownharbin9 - in the end this debate will be much bigger than "the boys" you know. there are plenty of good people that sell and do drugs. there are many good people that are dead from using and selling drugs too. I'm a realist and know folks in both groups. Also, let's clear up the fact these guys are 18 and are not boys. They are men. The reality is your friends are no different than my friends, or the guys in DC, Fairfax or Montgomery selling drugs. If America is serious about drugs we need to stop this double standard of inner city vs. college campus. folks already think the G-town kids will get off because the school name, rich parents and more. the judge is going to think they go to G-town and don't ruin their future. I am black and went to a predominantly white college and mixed high school. White kids and kids with money do way more drugs and alcohol than poor and minority kids.

So will their be equity in justice with this case? this was no innocent mistake. this was a well planned and conceived action. I am sure this was not the 1st foray into doing this type stuff either. I wonder who will be the 1st to say you knew about the lab set up in the room. Having lived in dorms longer than I care to remember you can tell who has stinky feet by walking down the halls. so to think they were going to make drugs in a dorm of this style is laughable it's so stupid.

Posted by: oknow1 | October 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Where are the mug shots?

Posted by: oknow1 | October 25, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"conspiracy to manufacture to manufacture" sounds like a hard one to prove. That's a conspiracy theory.

Posted by: thatsawesome | October 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Where are the pictures ?

Posted by: agarnett1000 | October 25, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Please. To the Gtown student: don't be so naive. If you lived on the floor, you certainly didn't know the secret lives of these two. The intent to distribute will be proven in court based on evidence, still unknown to the public, that will clearly prove you, for starters, laughably wrong.

Posted by: speedsk8r27 | October 25, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Did you ever wake up to find
A day that broke up your mind
Destroyed your notion of circular time

It's just that demon life has got you in its sway
It's just that demon life has got you in its sway

Ain't flinging tears out on the dusty ground
For all my friends out on the burial ground
Can't stand the feeling getting so brought down

It's just that demon life has got me in its sway
It's just that demon life has got me in its sway

There must be ways to find out
Love is the way they say is really strutting out

Hey, hey, hey now
One day I woke up to find
Right in the bed next to mine
Someone that broke me up with a corner of her smile, yeah

It's just that demon life has got me in its sway
It's just that demon life has got me in its sway

Posted by: blasmaic | October 25, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

amazing! oknow and speedsk8r know all about these kids' motives and mindset even though very little beyond the evacuation and charges have been published. they must be truly wise...

Posted by: funkey | October 25, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

My son is a resident on Harbin9 and this scared the heck out of me! After the initial Meth Lab assumption was ruled out, my immediate fear of residual toxicity went away. For several hours, I worked the internet learning about Meth Labs and then, DMT manufacturing. In this situation DMT only presents a hazard to the occupants of that room. The chemicals found in glass jars were much more than household products. They were acids, alkaline and flammables. Yes, they are each used in a house but if used incorrectly, they can cause fire, explosion and/or severe lung damage. If they were not sharp enough to ensure their homemade exhaust system worked properly, they were also capable of improperly mixing the chemicals.

Imagine the young man (Romano)that has been released and is free of all charges. He had the misfortune of getting an idiot for a Freshman year roomate. This bad luck almost ruined his life. Hopefully he can put this behind him while the other kid pays the appropriate price for his actions.

I will say this; the University and Emergency responders handled this very well! They acted in a very prudent and detailed manner which placed the health & welfare of the kids first, followed by the necessary crime scene investigation.

Posted by: collegeparent | October 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, if these young men were not doing illegal drug trafficing, perhaps, at some point, they should be given a second chance. However, first, Georgetown is a CATHOLIC, JESUIT university. If they are into another religion, they need to go practice it somewhere else. Georgetown may have gotten a bit on the liberal side, in recent decades, but, still, if you don't believe in the principles of the founders, go to college somewhere else like a state university in whatever nation it is that the indiginous people use this stuff. Second, if they were doing some sort of religious activity or archaeological research or chemical research, it needed to be done in a LAB, or other safe facility, under CONTROLLED CONDTITIONS AND NOT IN A RESIDENCE HALL ON SUNDAY WHERE IT COULD HURT A LOT OF PEOPLE! I don't know but would risk a guess that these guys may have violated some DC fire laws and possibly some Georgetown University regulations and possibly some Federal laws/regulations. While they could end up doing some jail time over at the DC jail, possibly at a Federal corrections institution, I am thinking that probably being suspended for a couple of semesters, having to pay for damages and a LOT, a WHOLE LOT of community service(lessee, how 'bout the PEACE CORPS in SOUTH AMERICA for a couple of years), as well as being required to read up on safe handling of chemicals and the various involved regulations and laws, might help them better than jail time and provide a good example to the rest of the student body.

Posted by: EMB59 | October 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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