City Paper is not for tourists
Today at about 2 p.m., two college students charged with manufacturing drugs in a Georgetown University dorm room will learn their fate. Charles Smith and John Perrone are slated to appear before federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. The two were busted in October for allegedly manufacturing the illegal, hallucinogenic substance DMT. The crystal drug reportedly goes for about $200 a gram.
At the time of the arrests, Smith was a GU freshman and Perrone a freshman at University of Richmond. On October 23, Perrone was visiting Smith, his pal from high school in Andover, Mass. Cops got a tip there might be something shady going on inside the dorm room. They searched the place and found chemicals and equipment used in the preparation of DMT. The equipment was linked to Smith and Perrone, but not to Smith’s roommate, who was also present.
Word is the students may not need to worry about doing hard time . According to a source close to the case, prosecutors have accepted a plea deal that, as long as the judge signs off on it, should equal probation for the errant chemists.
For the rest of us, the deal may also mean the chance to clear up some questions about one of the odder D.C. drug stories of recent years—like, say, whether the dorm-room lab was a serious operation or just an ill-conceived hobby. Stay tuned for more information.
UPDATE: At the conclusion of a three hour hearing, the judge accepted guilty pleas from the two defendants. Lawyers for the two men and prosecutors have hammered out a deal in which they propose the defendants serve a six-month suspended jail sentence, three years of probation, and 200 hours of community service, 30 of which would need to be completed in the District. The judge, who can decline to abide by that agreement, has set a March 18 sentencing date.
During the proceeding, Perrone and Smith contended that making DMT was a “foolish” experiment, and that they were arrested before they could complete their first batch. Authorities found a gram of the drug spread out among six mason jars. Asked by the judge if he’d consumed any of the DMT, Perrone was emphatic: “No, your honor, I’ve never consumed DMT in my life. I didn’t get that far.”