Feds to seize fraternity

U.S. Marshalls might seize Lambda Iota fraternity’s house on Pearl Street for large scale trafficking of cocaine, according to a Press Release from the United States Attorney’s office released Friday morning. The release stated Members of Lambda Iota were selling cocaine out of their house to other members of Lambda Iota, members of their Board of Governors and others. The members of Lambda Iota sold thousands of dollars of cocaine during the period between September 2006 and April 2007 according to Affidavit completed Friday by Burlington Police Department Detective Andrew Frisbie. The house, which was left to Lambda Iota Society by Arthur Hill several years after his death, was considered to be used for felony acts, according to the affidavit. On Friday, the government announced they will seize the house as part on an on going investigation, said Deputy Chief Michael Shirling. On April 27, 2007, the Burlington Police Department executed a search warrant and arrested Issac Goldman, who at the time was a freshman at UVM and Lambda’s former President Chris Duncan, ac?cording the affidavit. Jay Taylor, chairman of the Student Action Committee said he remembered seeing a lot of police outside the house in the spring. When Goldman was arrested, police seized “five cell phones, a digital scale, a snorting device, baggies and marijuana paraphernalia,” according to the affidavit. They also found $900 in Duncan’s room, according to the affidavit. They also searched the residence of Bent Cardan, also know as “B,” who lived on South Willard Street in a house owned by a member of the Lambda Iota Board of Governors, known as “headquarters,” who was also arrested, according to the Affidavit. Cardan was the main supplier to Duncan and Goldman, according to the Affidavit.He also sold cocaine to Rob Mayo, who was hired as the house manager of Lambda Iota, was one of cocaine according the Affadivit. According to the Affadavit, Duncan told police after his arrest that he believe Cardan was Rob Mayo’s source of cocaine he also said that “the whole brotherhood knew” Mayo was selling cocaine. Duncan and Cardan met freshman year and were room?mates, according to the Affidavit. Cardan also ran for SGA President in 2005 under a “Get Bent” Campaign, according to an article that ran in The Vermont Cynic on March 3, 2005. Duncan allowed Cardan to borrow his car to pick up cocaine in large quantities from Connecticut on a regular basis. Duncan used his car to pick up cocaine as well. “In late November or early December 2006, Duncan drove his car to Rhode Island with $10,000 he obtained from Cardan to purchase seven ounces of cocaine,” according to the affidavit. He made the same trip a couple of weeks later the affidavit stated. Duncan told police that he “estimated the total he sold for Cardan between February and April 2007 was 8 to 10 ouces,” according to the affidavit. That is equal to approximately $16,000.00 at the price he was selling at. Issac Goldman joined Lambda his freshman year and moved into the Lambda Iota house in Feburary 2007, according to the affidavit. “Sometime in fall of 2006, Goldman and Duncan talked about selling cocaine that Duncan obtained from Cardan. Goldman also knew that Mayo and a fraternity member obtained cocaine from Cardan because both of these individuals openly talked about it,” according to the affidavit. Soon after “Goldman and Duncan arranged for Goldman to get cocaine from Duncan on credit and pay Duncan after the sales,” according to the affidavit. “They began selling significant quantities of cocaine under this arrangement,” the affidavit stated. Goldman also sold cocaine to two Board of Govenors Members according to the press release. While in Detective Frisbie’s affidavit, he indicated that the could not interview either Board of Governors member, one “nodded” when he was asked if his property was referred to as “headquarters”. He also “admitted he struggled with a cocaine addiction and needed to change his lifestyle” according to the Affidavit. “It’s a real shame to have this happen; they are the oldest local fraternity here at UVM and they basically start?ed this whole Greek community,” Josh Klein, the President of the Inter-Fraternal Council said. The fraternity was derecognized by the University last spring for not adhering to the University’s standards for Greek Life, Dani Comey, the assistant director of Student said. The VISIONS document, which is the standard Greek organizations are held to, indicates that “Any Chapter that fails to meet conditions of its probationary or suspension status may face de-recognition. To prevent Chapters from becoming multiple offenders, any Chapter which is placed on probation or suspended twice in any two-year period will have its recognition reviewed. Once de-recognition has been carried out, that Chapter will not be eligible for recognition for a period of no less than five years.” The conditions include minimum grade point average, attendance to educational programs, community service, among many other requirements, according to the VISIONS document. Lambda Iota was de-recognized for eight years, said Pat Brown, the director of Student Life. “We worked long and hard with them to try to improve the health of their organization and we were very reluctant to pull recognition. Their persistent pattern of behavior was clear,” Comey said. “My personal feeling is, as it was at the time I heard of the Board’s vote, one of support for the Board’s action in this matter,” Fred Smith, a member of the Lambda Iota Board of Governors said. Enrique Corredera, the Director of University Communications, said that in November of 2006, Lambda Iota was put on Interim suspension but within a month they were put on full suspension. They violated the terms of their suspension, said Corredera. “They were attempting to recruit new members, when they weren’t supposed to be having any chapter activity,” said Corredera. “They were probably one of the weakest chapters, if not the weakest,” Klein said “The society continues to exist. It doesn’t have an undergraduate component for the time being,” Smith said. “We have always maintained very strongly that there is no place for that type of activity at UVM, we fully support both the efforts of the police and the U.S. attorney’s office to deal with these types of injustice, to help rid our community and campus of that type of activity and that it should send a very strong message to everybody out there that people are serious about this and there can be very dire consequences for the choice to engage in that type of behavior,” Corredera said.