Memphis, TN -- Staff members at Richardson Towers on the University of Memphis campus reported that on Dec. 18 they found marijuana residue and alcohol bottles in the residence hall during the winter break even though the building was supposed to be closed.
Richardson Towers, which holds one-thousand students, and on schedule for demolition was vacant at the time of the incident.
The officers found what appeared to be marijuana residue on the sink in a dorm room, and empty liquor bottles.
"Rarely, do we have drug-related calls or offenses on campus", said officer James Greenleaf, University of Memphis campus police officer, "There are moments that we do get a few calls, but that’s every blue moon."
Three men were found at the scene of the crime, and were charged with alcohol policy violation and simple possession.
Suspects, Michael Hargrove, 25, Michael Courson,31, and Brown Ben, 19, were students of the university and one under the legal drinking age.
Memphis Defense Attorney,Michael Shipman, states that underage drinking is severe and have penalties up to 90 days in prison. Marijuana possession has a maximum penalty up to one year in jail plus a fine of five thousand.
A student convicted of marijuana possession also will lose his or her driving privileges for six months for the first conviction, one year for a second conviction and two years for a third or subsequent conviction.
"A conviction for any drug offense, even if it is a misdemeanor, is permanent," said Michael Shipman, Tennessee criminal attorney.
University of Memphis policy states: “Any drug uses have disciplinary action including and up to immediate discharge for an employee and permanent dismissal of a student. Federal and state laws provide additional penalties for such unlawful activities, including fines and imprisonment.”
The campuses were closed, so campus officer came to the conclusion that the suspects broke into the building.
“The suspects must somehow found a way to break in, after students left for break, the buildings are locked, unless students are left in the building,” said John Hudgens, campus police officer, “ Richardson Towers was vacant.”
The campus hasn't had many offenses and has even been compared to being one of the safest campuses in Tennessee, by the top 10 college list in 2010.
The U of M's director of police services, Bruce Harber, said "We're very safe here. Break ins aren't normal and we are going to try every thing in our power to prevent anymore incidents”
Campus police has not heard if whether the suspects were dismissed from attending the university.