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Thursday, September 28, 2023


HPD charges student with possession of LSD

The Houston Police Department has charged chemical engineering freshman Clarke Layne Denton with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver following his arrest Wednesday.

The arrest took place after Denton allegedly attempted to sell undercover detectives LSD Wednesday, HPD spokesman Victor Senties said.

Denton will make his first court appearance Monday at the 177th Harris County District Court.

HPD became aware of drug dealing in the UH area after four incidents took place between the last week of November and first week of December, when Denton allegedly sold drugs to undercover officers, police reported.

CBS affiliate KHOU reported that Denton fled the scene after attempting to sell drugs, and a janitor later found him in a stairwell. HPD did not specify where Denton was located at the time of the arrest. Denton then consented to a search of his dorm, where officers found more LSD, although HPD declined to specify the amount found.

KHOU also reported Denton is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

Denton was previously arrested and charged with possession of marijuana in October of 2006, according to public records.

Students living on campus have mixed reactions regarding the arrest.

"I still feel safe," pharmacy freshman Ericka Lambert said. "It’s kind of a surprise, but I still feel safe. I think you come to school for education, not to sell drugs."

Chemical engineering freshman Rupa Ramakrishnan said she met Denton at the beginning of the fall semester and said he seemed like a quiet person.

"It’s just going to be so bad for him for the future," Ramakrishnan said.

Biology freshman Somi Ogunsuada said the arrest reflects poorly on students.

"That’s crazy – this is college," she said. "I thought people were more mature than that."

Other students said that using the dormitories to sell drugs was a bad move.

"Doing it in the dorm rooms is pretty dumb – you’re going to get caught," biology freshman Russell French said.

Students also said that drug use in the dormitories is nothing new.

"There’s been other arrests," French said of the Moody Towers. "It doesn’t interfere with safety in the towers."

Pre-nursing freshman Joshua Burt said that he wasn’t very aware of drug use on campus.

"I’ve heard it around – some kids talk about it, I didn’t know it was this serious," he said.

University studies freshman David McBride said drug use in the dormitories is prevalent.

"You can smell it from room to room, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going on," he said.

McBride also said that not many problems have occurred as a result of drug use in the dormitories because residential advisors are usually aware of any issues.

"I don’t feel any safety issues from smelling marijuana," he said. "There haven’t been any fights – I don’t really see a problem."

According to the Student Handbook, the "manufacture, distribution, sale, offer for sale, or possession of controlled substances" is punishable by the University.

Assistant Dean of Students Kamran Riaz said in accordance with the Handbook, students who break University policies are subject to disciplinary actions three class days after the alleged violation was done, such as a notification interview, in which a student is notified what policies have been violated by the Dean of Students Office or a disciplinary conference. Students may also go through a University hearing board to decide a case.

In Denton’s case, University officials said they are not handling disciplinary actions in the incident as a criminal charge has been filed in the case.

Residential Life and Housing did not respond to an e-mail regarding dormitory policies.

HPD is currently conducting an investigation on the substances found in Denton’s dorm.

Additional reporting by Daily Cougar staff.

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