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Shepherd students charged in bust

March 06, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Four Shepherd University students were charged Thursday in a drug bust that netted a substantial amount of marijuana, two loaded firearms and about $8,000 in cash, police said.

The students were arrested about 5 p.m. by members of Jefferson County's SWAT team, which includes Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies and officers with Shepherdstown and Shepherd University police departments, according to Sheriff's Deputy G.W. Kilmer.

Charles L. Pugh, 21, was charged with distribution of marijuana; Ducel Jean-Berluche, 19, was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana); and Richard M. Smith, 23, and Theodore Kona, 21, each were charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, Kilmer said.

Jean-Berluche, Smith and Kona lived in a off-campus, three-bedroom apartment at 145 Hensel Drive in University Heights, Kilmer said.

Pugh lives on campus in a residence hall, but he was at the off-campus apartment when police arrived, Kilmer said.

Pugh, a senior from Edgewater, Fla., was kicked off the West Virginia University football team in June 2008 after being charged with stealing a credit card, The Associated Press reported in November. Pugh entered a guilty plea to that charge, records show.

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Kilmer said the Sheriff's Department's K-9, Andy, found the marijuana, which was in five, gallon-size bags and 10 to 15 smaller baggies. A 9mm handgun, a shotgun and two digital scales were seized, Kilmer said.

Three of the large bags of marijuana were found in a bedroom closet, Kilmer said.

Kilmer said all of the law enforcement agencies "pitched in" and worked together on the raid. He credited the efforts of Harpers Ferry Police Department Chief Donald Buracker, who works part time for the university's police department.

"Our SWAT team did a good job," Kilmer said.

A University spokeswoman did not return a message Friday seeking comment.

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