Posts Tagged ‘columbia five’
In court this morning, Klein apologized for his actions and also offered an apology to his peers and instructors at Columbia for bringing “unnecessary grief to the school.”
If Klein successfully completes his probation without any further problems, this crime will be expunged from his record.
Klein is the last of the Columbia Five to have his case disposed of. Christopher Coles, Michael Wymbs, Jose Stephan Perez, and Harrison David (the only member of the five sentenced to jail time) have all already had their cases decided.
Adam Klein, the last of the Columbia Five whose case is still outstanding, entered a guilty plea today to charges of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance. He agreed to plead guilty as part of a deal, in exchange for which prosecutors did not seek jail time for Klein. Instead, they recommended that he be placed on five years’ probation. Klein will be sentenced on Feb. 28.
Once Klein is sentenced, the book will officially be closed on the seemingly-interminable saga of the Columbia Five: Christopher Coles, Michael Wymbs, Jose Stephan Perez, and Harrison David have all already had their cases decided. Of the five, only David was sentenced to jail time.
Michael Wymbs, who pleaded guilty in November to selling drugs to undercover cops in the sting known as “Operation Ivy League”, has been sentenced to five years’ probation, according to Bloomberg News.
His attorney, Michael Bachner, said that Wymbs has been drug-free since his arrest and has maintained a high GPA while studying at CUNY. “One day I think we’ll be reading about Mr. Wymbs accepting a Nobel Prize and not about his time in court,” Bachner said.
Adam Klein is the only member of the Columbia Five whose case has not yet been resolved.
Christopher Coles is now the latest member of the Columbia Five to enter a guilty plea to charges of selling drugs to undercover cops. The plea comes after he was offered a drug treatment deal in early November. Under the terms of that deal, he was to pay $40,000 for rehab and attend the program for a year before he would be allow to withdraw his guilty plea and have the charges against him dismissed. Shortly after being offered the deal, Coles failed a drug test and was jailed again. Today Cole was offered the same deal, and he accepted.
Prosecutors had argued against sending Coles to rehab, saying he was motivated by profit. Coles’ attorneys, however, painted a picture of a good student in thrall to drug addiction. They said he sold drugs as a means of financing his $70-to-$100-a-day marijuana habit. They said he had repeatedly tried to kick this habit, visiting with campus health services three times before his arrest in December 2010. And, they said, his parents had become so frustrated with his drug use that they had stopped paying their portion of his tuition.
All these claims were enough to convince the judge, who agreed to send Coles to rehab instead of jail.
Of the Columbia Five, three other members have also pleaded guilty: Harrison David, Michael Wymbs, and Jose Stephan Perez. Only David, convicted of selling cocaine, has been sentenced to jail time. Adam Klein, the only one left whose case has not yet been resolved, will be in court again next week.
A time line of events in which to relive your relevant Columbia Five memories of the past year:
Oct. 27, 2010: The students’ drug supplier is arrested after the same undercover cop to whom they sold drugs produces several recorded conversations.
Dec. 7, 2010: The morning of Dec. 7, NYPD arrests five Columbia students—Harrison David, Chris Coles, Adam Klein, Jose Stephan Perez, and Michal Wymbs—on 65 charges of selling narcotics. The NYPD used battering rams to break down doors in East Campus, Psi Upsilon, Alpha Epsilon Pi, and Pi Kappa Alpha, and the Intercultural Resource Center to arrest the students early in the morning. More »
Today, according to a Bloomberg article, Michael Wymbs pleaded guilty to drug charges, which will allow him to avoid a prison term as long as two-and-a-half years. Instead, he will take five years of probation.
Just last month, Justice Michael J. Sonberg had denied Wymbs and Jose Stephen Perez access to enroll in a pretrial drug treatment program because their sales were motivated by profit and not by addiction.
Perez will appear in court later today. Adam Klein’s case was postponed. Christopher Coles, who was granted permission to enter the program, will tell the court on Nov. 22 whether or not he will elect to enroll in it.
Check back later for updates.
Christopher Coles, one of last year’s Columbia Five, has been offered a year of inpatient drug treatment as an alternative to serving a prison sentence. Coles has until Nov. 22 to decide whether to take the deal or not. The roughly $40,000 cost of treatment would come from Coles himself, and he would not be able to work or attend school for the duration of the treatment. If Cole refuses and is convicted, he would faces the prospect of jail time and a criminal record.
Jose Perez, Michael Wymbs, and Adam Klein are due back in court on Nov. 15 after being denied diversion to the alternate drug program. Harrison David is currently serving a 3.5 month sentence after pleading guilty to the criminal sell of a controlled substance this July.
Today, two of the Columbia Five lost their attempted bid to enroll in a pretrial diversion program that would allow them to avoid a prison term as long as 2.5 years. Jose Stephan Perez, 20, and Michael Wymbs, 22, were the students requesting diversion.
The request was turned down by Judge Michael Sonberg. Sonberg also ordered Christopher Coles, 21, to be evaluated for the program. Wymbs’ attorney was quoted in a Bloomberg article this afternoon:
“We think that the judge is wrong on the law and wrong on the facts and we are reviewing our appellate rights,” Wymbs attorney, Michael Bachner, said after the hearing. “This diversion program was created specifically for people like Michael Wymbs.”
Adam Klein, 21, also asked to be enrolled in the program but his case was postponed so his attorney can file more paperwork.
Check back later for a full News story.