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Posted at 7:31 PM ET, 02/11/2011

2 plead guilty on G'town drug case

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post editors

Two young men pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Friday to attempting to manufacture about a gram of a hallucinogenic drug in a Georgetown dorm in October.

Charles B. Smith, then a freshman in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, and his high school friend, John Perrone, a freshman at the University of Richmond, used instructions printed from the Internet to buy and mix DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, for their personal use and to share with friends.

Smith and Perrone, both 18 at the time, were 2010 high school classmates from Andover, Mass.

In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of six months in prison, which would be suspended and put on probation and perform community service.

Sentencing was set for March 18.

By Spencer S. Hsu  | February 11, 2011; 7:31 PM ET
Categories:  Narcotics, Spencer S. Hsu, The District  
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Comments

This is a note to the reporter. Please inform readers whether the Georgetown defendant pled guilty to a misdemeanor or to a felony. This is important information that should be included in your news item. Thank-you

Posted by: drewhat1 | February 11, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"...In a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of six months in prison, which would be suspended and put on probation and perform community service..."

A Black student from Howard University would not have received the same plea offer as these two White Georgetown University student.
The fact of the matter is, justice is not blind ! White folks are treated far more leniently than any Black person in the American criminal justice system.

Posted by: BigTight33 | February 12, 2011 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Andover MA??? Home of privileged white boys. If they had stayed in MA and gone to Harvard or MIT, they wouldn't have even been arrested if they shared their stash with college officials and the police.

Posted by: jnt05334485verizonnet | February 12, 2011 4:39 AM | Report abuse

They will send them to Mr. Wiggins school for wayward boys for the next six months. No suprises here. Keep it moving.

Posted by: msdooby1 | February 12, 2011 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Judge let the white boys roll free
Meaning more drugs for he with a lil glee.
Blacks do not deserve probation only jail
Therefore justice is cool with no bail.
Blacks need to know there ain't real
Only Whites with biased racist zeal.
Now, run and yell that to Al and Jesse
Who reminds me of a old Bessie so messy.

Posted by: TheresaDudleyStank | February 12, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

These guys are idiots and maybe deserved more.

But if you're gonna say Howard students would have gotten much worse, cite an actual case....

Posted by: nivreg | February 12, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

They both went to Andover HS, not Exeter. So calling them rich whites may not be accurate. They probably are, but lets not speculate that their parents wealth had anything to do w/them getting a good deal in this case. I do agree that a poor black in NE would not get the same deal though.

Posted by: cr10 | February 12, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is, justice is not blind ! White folks are treated far more leniently than any Black person in the American criminal justice system.


Posted by: BigTight33 | February 12, 2011 1:11 AM


Grow up! You have no clue what you are talking about. Sit in ANY courtroom, ANYWHERE in the D.C. area and see how many go to jail for drug crimes.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 12, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

This is another glaring example of the just-us system showing leniency towards whites. These men were caught manufacturing (not just selling) a very dangerous and powerful drug on campus that could have possibly caused a death to occur. Now you know why there are a dispropotionate number of Blacks behind bars as opposed to whites.

Posted by: hritewing | February 12, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of BS these two deserve some jail time our justice system is corrupt just like any other country the haves can get away with anything while the have nots do max time for the SAME CRIME

Posted by: agarnett1000 | February 12, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If this "crime" wasn't committed by college students at a university, chances are most of us wouldn't know of it because the editors of WaPo and local papers wouldn't find it newsworthy. Not to say that commenter's grievances with prejudice in our justice system are illegitimate, but when this story occurs on the other side of the class and race divide, it goes largely unnoticed. Dozens, if not hundreds, of District residents use their homes, apartments, and places of business to produce illicit drugs. Periodically, the police uncover these operations, which typically are non-commercial in nature, such as the case here. The news media establishment only cares when the suspect(s) fit an atypical profile, like entitled white boys from New England, or a reporter for the associated press. Yet the criminal proceedings of most drug production-related crimes go largely unreported, leaving us with little information on which to conclude that our courts are racially biased when convicting and sentencing perpetrators of these "crimes".

Law enforcement methodically targets marginalized communities, antagonizing their residents and disproportionately arresting individuals for petty civil, non-violent crimes like personal drug use. But prejudice in law enforcement doesn't necessarily mean prejudice in the courts, though the two certainly can go hand-in-hand. It is my somewhat-informed opinion that the recommended sentence in the plea agreement here is even more strict than similar cases in the same court. Our courts routinely dismiss, and prosecutors routinely drop, cases and charges related to the cultivation of marijuana specifically, and generally other instances of non-commercial drug production. The MPD is obsessed with repeatedly arresting the users of drugs and targeting low-income residents, lining our jails with minorities whose "crimes" caused little or no harm to society. To anyone intimately familiar with a District courtroom, you may know how they let you get off easy the first time, but if you make a second appearance they throw the book at you.

Posted by: smart-aleck | February 12, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

They both went to Andover HS, not Exeter. So calling them rich whites may not be accurate. They probably are, but lets not speculate that their parents wealth had anything to do w/them getting a good deal in this case. I do agree that a poor black in NE would not get the same deal though.
======================================
If they're from Andover and going to Georgetown, you can safely bet that they're not from the same economic class as those in Northeast or Howard for that matter. I lived in MA and NH for about 15 years. One did not live in Andover without a good deal of long green - had to visit Merrimack College in Andover three times a week for about five months during a CPA review course. That town must be loaded.

Posted by: PA_Rebel | February 12, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

More than likely it was a first offense. Sentences like this not uncommon, but if they get caught again they will go to jail. They obviously aren't the brightest considering they tried to make it in their dorm room. That's just hilariously stupid. I'm sure if they try this again, trust that they will be caught.

Posted by: Jsuf | February 12, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Grow up! You have no clue what you are talking about. Sit in ANY courtroom, ANYWHERE in the D.C. area and see how many go to jail for drug crimes.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 12, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse


CuriousGeorge4, you are so right for the wrong reason ! Quite often I have sat in courtrooms throughout the DMV and see many people got to jail for drug crimes, most of whom are Black. I think you should be a lot more curious and do some research on the sentencing disparity between the sentences given to white defendants as compared to those given to Black defendants convicted of the same crimes. The anecdotal and empirical evidence supports my statement that the two white boys from Georgetown received a far more lenient sentence than two Black Students from Howard would have received upon conviction of the same offense.

Sorry you can't handle the truth !

Posted by: BigTight33 | February 12, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Too bad these “savage thug animals” couldn’t get persecuted to the fullest extent of the law for the crime that they committed. I despise these “savage thugs animals” who come to our communities trying to destroy them…hope u caught my sarcastic drift…FIRST, if they were black, they wouldn’t have been able to leave the city when they first got caught. SECOND, if they were black, they would have gotten persecuted to the fullest extent of the law for the crime that they committed…TOO MUCH HYPOCRISY IN OUR DEMOCRACY

Posted by: dmcclure05 | February 12, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Sentencing disparity is a real problem, but leniency toward the controlled substance manufacturers/distributors isn't the problem. It's probably more useful to focus anger on the excessively harsh sentences other violators receive than it is to complain about sentencing disparity in the context of one of the rare sentences that gets it right.

Posted by: dlindqui55 | February 13, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

dmcclure05 is correct. I'm a white guy, law and order type. If these two were minorities, they wouldn't be breathing free air for a very long time. But, unfortunately, these two poor misguided youths are afflicted with a severe case of Teddy Kennedy Sysndrome, which only affects rich white kids with politicall connected parents. Anyone honestly believe this is their first offense? Most likely, they have had similar problems while in high school, but Daddy paid the school off with an endowment. Just like that butt-wipe lacrosse player that killed his girlfriend.

Posted by: hackstone | February 13, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

If you read the pleadings you will find the government concluded and agreed the maximum amount that could have been made was 1 gram, the weight of 5th of a quarter. Total value about $200. The federal prosecutors realized this was personal use and not a drug ring or else they would be doing time.

So if a black kid with no prior record gets caught with $200 worth of drugs in DC he goes to jail? I think if that is true you should take a cue from Egypt and quit whining on blogs.

Also it is a fact that you can extract and use DMT in religious services legally in the US. A New Mexico case went to the Supreme Court and it was upheld as a "freedom of religion" right. A unanimous decision by the John Roberts court. The case is "Gonzales".

So if you do it in church it is AOK but if you do it at GU you are a felon. Great country we have.

Posted by: beans4me_05 | February 14, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

If you read the pleadings you will find the government concluded and agreed the maximum amount that could have been made was 1 gram, the weight of 5th of a quarter. Total value about $200. The federal prosecutors realized this was personal use and not a drug ring or else they would be doing time.

So if a black kid with no prior record gets caught with $200 worth of drugs in DC he goes to jail? I think if that is true you should take a cue from Egypt and quit whining on blogs.

Also it is a fact that you can extract and use DMT in religious services legally in the US. A New Mexico case went to the Supreme Court and it was upheld as a "freedom of religion" right. A unanimous decision by the John Roberts court. The case is "Gonzales".

So if you do it in church it is AOK but if you do it at GU you are a felon. Great country we have.

Posted by: beans4me_05 | February 14, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

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