Ex-Williams College student accused of dealing pot to high schoolers out of dorm room pleads not guilty

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NORTH ADAMS — A former Williams College student accused of dealing marijuana to high school students out of his dorm room has pleaded not guilty to related drug charges.

Eric Smith, 21, of Chicago, was arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday. He was issued a summons on the drug charges in October.

The charges stem from reports that at least one student at the nearby Buxton School in Williamstown had purchased marijuana from a student named "Eric" who lives in Wood House on the Williams campus, according a court documents.

After receiving permission from Williams deans, security officers conducted a search of Smith's dorm room. During the search, officers found drugs and told police that Smith has acknowledged he had marijuana and a drug-cutting agent in his room, according to court documents.

Williamstown Police responded to the dorm room and took note of three "gallon size bags," two "medium size bags" and two "smaller bags" with marijuana, a pill bottle filled with a "white powdery substance," a mason jar with additional white powder, a pill bottle with a Superman logo, and drug packaging material, according to the documents.

Later that day, town police returned to the dorm room with an official search warrant and collected a total of a pound of marijuana, prepackaged cocaine, ecstasy and Xanax pills and other drug paraphernalia, according to a statement of facts filed separately in court.

Franny Schuker-Haines, co-director of Buxton School, said four students, all younger than 18, were found with marijuana, though it was unclear how many of those students allegedly purchased it from Smith.

Williams declined to comment on any disciplinary action taken against Smith but said he is no longer enrolled at the college.

"The college only searches room as a last resort," spokesman Jim Reische said. "That judgment is usually made on the basis if we get tips from the police or the students."

He said the college does not "comment on legal or other outside public proceedings in which students, staff, or faculty are involved personally," noting that "student conduct processes are confidential by federal law."

Smith pleaded not guilty Monday to three counts of possession of a class B substance with the intent to distribute, one count of possession of a class D substance with the intent to distribute, and one count of possession of liquor under 21. He was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to return to court Jan. 5 for a pretrial hearing.

Smith's attorney, Michelle Mechta, declined to comment on the case, noting that she had only been appointed a few minutes earlier.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, at @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.


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