UNC-CH suspends 3 fraternities following 'large-scale' drug bust

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill suspended three fraternities on Friday following a large-scale drug bust that netted more than 21 people -- including former college students across North Carolina.

The university announced Friday it has suspended the recognition of the campus chapters of Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Sigma and Beta Theta Pi after their alleged involvement in illegal drug distribution.

"We are taking swift action today because the serious nature of the alleged criminal behaviors is contradictory to our code of conduct and endangers the health of our student body and community. We remain vigilant and are continuing to work with law enforcement to understand the extent of this activity on our campus and will take all appropriate measures to address it," Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said in part in a statement.

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21 people -- including current and former students from University of North Carolina, Duke University, and Appalachian State University -- have been arrested for dealing drugs at and on college campuses.

On Thursday, United States Attorney Matthew Martin, a UNC alumnus, said the arrested drug dealers were not small-time drug users, but instead "hardened drug dealers."

He said the suspects were responsible for moving thousands of pounds of marijuana, hundreds of kilograms of cocaine, LSD, molly, mushrooms, steroids, HGH, Xanax and other narcotics.

The investigation started years ago. The Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in November 2018 into cocaine being sold in the Chapel Hill area.

On Thursday, Guskiewicz issued the following statement about the allegations; "We are extremely disappointed to learn of these alleged actions on our campus. The University is committed to working with law enforcement to fully understand the involvement of any university individuals or organizations so that disciplinary action can be taken. Although none of the individuals named today are currently enrolled students, we will remain vigilant and continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and address any illegal drug use on our campus. Our community can be certain that the University will enforce the student conduct code to the fullest extent possible."
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