Police announced yesterday that they raided 15 buildings on and around campus on Wednesday in the culmination of a six-month undercover drug bust, unearthing a sales ring that stretched from Bursley Residence Hall to the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity to 13 off-campus houses. Of 24 suspects, 22 were University students and one was an alum.

The Ann Arbor Police Department assisted the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team in the operation, which unearthed a reported 34 pounds of marijuana at an estimated worth of more than $100,000, five guns, $13,000 in cash, six cars, small amounts of various narcotics and assorted other property valued at $100,000, The Ann Arbor News reported.

Charges for delivery of drugs and possession with intent to deliver were levied against 22 people, the paper reported. Overall, police issued charges for 24 misdemeanors and 32 felonies. The names of the suspects have not yet been released. Yesterday, 11 people were arraigned, warrants were released for five others and police are still looking for five more, NBC’s Local 4 News reported.

Other charges include running a drug house. Police found four places where marijuana was grown indoors with a capability of producing 15 to 20 pounds of the drug a year, The Ann Arbor News reported.

University officials did not return phone messages asking them to comment on the University’s involvement in the investigation and any University action that might be taken against the students.

Zeta Beta Tau President Josh Banschick said police searched one room of the fraternity and did not make any arrests, but he would not comment on what was found. One fraternity member is currently under investigation but has not been charged.

Banschick said the media have distorted Zeta Beta Tau’s level of involvement in the police raid.

“A lot of what was shown on the news and written in the papers was a very skewed portrayal,” he said.

Banschick discounted a local television report that said fraternity members shouted obscenities at the media.

“They took some shots of guys from far away, about a 100 yards away, and claimed the guys were screaming obscenities, which is absolutely false,” he said.

Banschick described a video available last night on www.clickondetroit.com, Local 4’s website, that showed a fraternity member talking on his cell phone from a long distance that appeared to be out of ear-shot. News producers bleeped out what he was saying in an attempt to make it seem as though he was shouting obscenities, Banschick claimed.

“They falsely censored him from a distance that was impossible to hear from,” Banschick said. “At the time, I was on the phone with him. He wasn’t cursing. He wasn’t even screaming.”

Police said the marijuana that was found had a higher potency than most marijuana because instead of being grown in soil, it was grown in a nutrient solution. Some also came from Canada. The powerful drug commanded a steeper price on the street — $3,000 to $4,000 a pound compared to the usual $700 to $1,000, the Ann Arbor News reported.

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