Smith and Perrone released to parents, trial set for January

At D.C. District Court this afternoon, Charles Smith (SFS ’14) and John Perrone, a freshman at the University of Richmond, were released under parental custody to their homes in Andover, Massachusetts.

Smith and Perrone will stand trial in court on January 24 for conspiracy to manufacture and possession with intent to distribute DMT, a hallucinogenic drug.

According to Washington City Paper, who spoke with the attorneys defending Smith and Perrone before the hearing, both college students are “very young kids from good families who’ve done some good things.”

“They’re just terrific kids,” David Shertler, who represents Smith and is known in D.C. for his role in the Robert Wone murder case, said.

Perrone’s attorney, G. Allen Dale, argued that his client’s detainment was a “criminal hell.”

“We’re not certain that a crime has been committed,” Dale told City Paper. “How do you have probable cause to search the room if it wasn’t an illegal substance?”

Charles Smith Sr. and Jeff Perrone, the fathers of the arrested college students, were also present in the courtroom this afternoon.

Under the terms of their release, Smith and Perrone must wear electronic monitoring devices, obey nightly curfews, undergo drug and alcohol tests, and enroll in classes or find full-time jobs. They also cannot travel outside of Massachusetts, except to appear in D.C. court, or to fulfill work or school requirements in New Hampshire.

Photo: Arthur Lien

Additional reporting by Emma Forster.

33 Comments on “Smith and Perrone released to parents, trial set for January

  1. “How do you have probable cause to search the room if it wasn’t an illegal substance?”

    Didn’t one of the stories say that one of the guys consented? You don’t need probable cause if there was consent. That’s first semester criminal procedure stuff right there, Mr. Dale.

  2. I’m glad that your first semester of criminal procedure taught you enough to talk down to a lawyer who has been working for decades and graduated from a top school to boot. Clearly you know enough about what happened to handle the whole situation, right? Why don’t we just use you as the go-to source for legal advice from now on? Or we can just trust the guy who makes a living by doing this stuff and probably has a lot more experience/knowledge on the legality of the issue at hand.

  3. Preach, impa1, preach. The only reason the cops searched the room was because some idiots got caught smoking K2 (legal marijuana subsitute) on the 4th floor and then they went and told DPS that they got it from Charlie. K2 is legal and can’t be grounds for searching a room.

  4. do you really think that if dps knocked on your door demanding to search your room they would really walk away if you just said “i do not consent to being searched.” They never had a right to ask the kid where he got his k2 from anyway. Its not like if I was smoking a cigarette they could make me tell them where I got it from.

  5. The room is also not the student’s property. Yes it is theirs temporarily, but it is the university’s property. They can do search it whenever they want. We are paying for a service, but I’m sure in the fine print of the housing agreement—or whatever housing document—they reserve the right to enter a room if they suspect illegal activity. For example, when if have a party in your henle, DPS (or the RA) can enter if you have not registered the party.

  6. @impa1

    First, what defense attorney is going to come out in an interview and say, “The prosecution has an airtight case?” Of course he’s going to say that his client is innocent/his rights were violated in some way. Don’t be a fucking dipshit.

    Furthermore, let’s look at the rules of Georgetown University Housing, which Smith agreed to by virtue of living in Harbin.

    “A search, given reasonable suspicion of conduct that may violate University policies, may be performed upon authorization of any of the following: the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, the Associate Dean of Students, the Director of Residence Life, the Associate Director of Residence Life, or the Assistant Director of Residence Life. This administrative search authorization may be provided orally, and memorialized in writing at a later time. This search may be conducted in the presence of the person against whom the evidence is being gathered and an official of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, but such presence is not required.”

    (http://housing.georgetown.edu/academic/index.cfm?fuse=policies)

    Reasonable suspicion was granted at the time the guy who was smoking K2 gave up the room 926. If the guy smoked it out of a bowl, bong, or something that could be use to smoke illegal drugs, then he’s committing a Category A/Category B Drug Violation in the student code of conduct, which means DPS could ask him questions about where he got the materials.

    Sorry that your boy got arrested and is going to have to deal with some tough business in the future, but don’t let that cloud your capacity for rational thought. Heck, the same shit happened thirty years ago and some of the students graduated from GU afterwards: http://georgetownmetropolitan.com/2010/10/25/thirty-years-ago-gu-students-were-just-as-good-at-ruining-their-lives/

  7. @@impa1: yeah, but it’s still better not to consent to any searches. that way, if they go ahead and search you room and find something, you can just challenge whether its admissible as evidence in court. however, if you consent, all bets are off.

    i had a situation in my room once that required some minor medical attention from GERMS (no ambulance rides or anything) and a DPS officer followed GERMS to the room. he asked if he could come in, and I said no, and told him I needed to get back to helping my friend. he didn’t come in. not saying that will happen in every situation, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

  8. Cops frequently lie about how they illegally obtain evidence. Outrageous! One can be creative, or pick from classics:

    1. Contraband in plain view.
    2. Consent given to search.
    3. Detected odor of marijuana.

    These circumstances all give rise to constitutionally reasonable searches, and the underlying circumstances are just the cop’s say-so.

  9. These lawyers don’t seem like the best of the bunch. “He’s done some good things” and “we’re not certain a crime has been committed”

    These statements just exude confidence in their case

  10. First, a second to Izzo’s comment. I’ve heard of a number of cases this year where DPS used a combination of the above excuses to search student residences illegally, and/or intimidated students into authorizing a search.

    Second, Smith’s lawyer David Shertler is a sh**bag–look into the details of the Wone murder

  11. GUSA, in collaboration with some GU Law students and professors, used to put out a packet on your rights vis-a-vis DPS and MPD.

    Any idea if it’s still around?

  12. If they consented to the search, the point is moot. Further, I doubt DPS is bound by the same rules given that this is not a lease but a license situation, so the rights of the students are probably subject to the fine print of campus housing and the university’s code of conduct. I have a feeling that any suppression motion in this case would probably fail. If the consent was voluntary (and they’d have a very hard time arguing that it wasn’t), then the students’ ignorance about their right to refuse (if any) is irrelevant.

    But you can all continue arguing to the contrary.

  13. @Matt – Hey Georgetown, “JUST SAY NO!” to cops. The job of cops is to build cases to put people in jail. The best thing that we can do is not talk to them. Many people will suggest that if police knock on your door, you should step outside to talk to them. (Like Vampires, you for sure NEVER want to invite them inside!). Instead, you should talk to them through your door. Do not open the door at all. In fact, if the door is not already locked, LOCK IT RIGHT AWAY. You are under no legal obligation to talk to the police. Do not believe “Good Cop” who tells you that “this will be a lot easier” if you just talk to him for a moment. His job is not to “clear this up,” his job is to arrest people and build cases that enable a prosecutor to put them in jail. And some cops find that a lot easier to do if they can search you based on a hunch, which is functionally equivalent to legal if the cop testifies that you actually consented to the search, or that he smelled marijuana, or that he saw the contraband in plain sight.

    Remember, Georgetown. DPS does not work for you. Really. If they did, none of our freshmen would be in jail, and Vox would be moderating the caption contest for the latest video posted on the Internet. Metro Police is not your friend. Just say no. No, you do not want to talk to them. Have a good night, officer.

  14. @ Izzo

    Your comments about cooperating with the police are disgusting. None of our freshmen would be in jail if they had enough respect for themselves and their community to say no to building a drug lab in their dorm room. Belittling the hard work which Metro does keeping the students of this campus safe is disgusting and urging noncompliance with the police could potentially put both students and officers at risk.

    Obstructing justice is still a crime.

  15. Shame on Class of ’14… seek an education not a “thrill”

    Quit ruining Georgetown’s name for those before and after you. We’re not some random, party state college, get it together.

  16. @Jacob – My comments urging our Hoyas to exercise of one’s constitutional right not to speak to the police, not to invite unwanted persons into one’s home, and to always consider the police unwanted so as to avoid inadvertent self-incriminatation and to avoid exposure to potential police misconduct are unambiguously not obstruction of justice and unambiguously not disgusting.

    What is ambiguously disgusting is my would-be submission to my would-be caption contest, which is “LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS!”
    If Georgetown is developing a culture of snitching, that is truly disgraceful. Judas Iscariot lauded for fulfilling civic duty? Outrageous!

  17. While I think Izzo HOYA is completely over the top in almost everything he writes, Jacob is waaaaay too far on the other side of things here. It’s pathetic when one’s moral/ ethical code simply aligns with ‘the law’. If you think the legal system in the United States is flawless, or that police are any better than your typical person in society, you are sadly mistaken. I have personally witnessed a handful of abuses by DC police

  18. @ Izzo

    Maybe if you actually read the bible you would know that these kids can’t be compared too Jesus and that you are your brother’s keeper.

  19. @ Izzo,
    If students feel in danger, they have the right and the responsibility to report it. When chemicals are involved and serious drug-related felonies are involved, it’s a safety issue, not a “snitching” issue. But you’re partially right about talking to the police. If students feel comfortable answering questions or letting officers into their rooms, then they have a right to do so, and that’s fine. But any student who does not want to talk or allow searches should know what their rights are and how to protect them.

  20. Izzo is a lunatic and we should all stop feeding his fire. He clearly lives in a different reality than the rest of us, and will go on preaching his insane and utterly ridiculous philosophy until he seriously screws up and gets put away for good. Until then the best thing we can do is leave him alone so he’ll have no reason left to talk.

  21. is izzo a real person?
    is izzo being serious?
    so confused. he (or she) just seems.. ridiculous?

  22. Izzo is probably just an internet troll sitting at his or her computer somewhere in lau, laughing as everyone freaks out about what he/she is saying.

    At least, I hope so…

  23. How had I never heard of the Robert Wone case? It has all the elements I like: scandalous lives of defendants! LGBT rights advocates! Graduates of prestigious schools all around! Even a Georgetown SFS graduate! Murder! Lies! Intrigue! Mystery!
    SRZLY. How did I not know about this until now?
    Why is this not a movie?

  24. The irony is, every one of you is in violation of laws against possession of DMT right now. Its a natural component of our cerebrospinal fluid, but the law makes NO exceptions. Possession of ANY amount in ANY form is a class one felony. Welcome to drug war logic 101.

  25. @ Mitchell,
    I have no plans to distribute my cerebrospinal fluid.

  26. @Shruti: Just read the local news once in awhile, check out major DC blogs like DCist, Wash Post Metro section, or LGBT press like the Blade. I’ve actually gotten pretty sick of hearing about the Wone case almost every week for the past couple of years.. it’s been one of those fall-back stories to talk about when not much else is going on.

    @Jacob: I’m all for justice, but the drug war is unjust. I, for one, would refuse to cooperate in any way with police on that subject, unless I knew that someone was in a legitimate danger. There are enough unsolved burglaries and assaults around here to keep the police occupied fighting crimes that impact people other than the ones committing them. If you were actually concerned about law-breakers, you’d turn in every one of your friends who has had a drink prior to age 21. Until then, realize that “the law” does not equal “justice”

  27. @Tim — I hope you don’t have to distribute your cerebrospinal fluid too. But sometimes doctors will order a spinal tap. Good luck, buddy.

  28. Hey Alumna –

    So we have a few kids who made some stupid choices. Please don’t lump the ENTIRE class of 2014 into 3 individuals.

    A) So nobody from your class ever did anything stupid? Nobody drank underage, nobody did illegal drugs, nobody held illicit parties that gave alcohol to underage people, nobody ever had a party busted up by DPS, etc? I think I’d believe that when pigs fly.

    B) There are still some of us “Class of 14″ers out here who are working hard to do well. Not all of us drink, not all of us do/manufacture drugs. I’d appreciate it greatly if you wouldn’t start throwing things such as the idea that we’re “ruining Georgetown’s name” – some of us are actually proud and happy to be here, and are showing it. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>