More on this morning’s evacuation, meth lab in Harbin

3:15 p.m. update: According to the Washington Post, two students and one “campus visitor” were arrested earlier today in response to the drug lab found in Harbin Hall. The Post spoke with Piringer, who provided more details about the lab itself.

“They did have some heating equipment. They did have a ventilation system,” he said, adding that officers found “a variety of chemicals” inside the dorm room.

1:49 p.m. update: The drug lab found in Harbin Hall did not produce methamphetamine, according to campus officials who spoke with ABC 7, who passed the information along to DCFD. Allegedly, the lab was meant to produce dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogenic drug.

12:40 p.m. update: According to MPD officer Hugh Carew, the three students “persons of interest” MPD detained were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ellen Thein, a freshman who DPS escorted back into Harbin to get her inhaler, said that DPS will escort residents into the building one at a time if they have critical needs. These include medication or the need to accommodate travel plans.

“They said, ‘You’d better change your pants,'” Thein said, adding that she figured this meant that Harbin Hall will remain evacuated for some time.

She grabbed a pair of pants for her roommate, Charlotte Kelly (COL ’14), who was not allowed back into the building.

“They won’t tell us much, so I’ve been getting all my information from the Internet or news,” Kelly said. “I would really like to brush my teeth.”

12:15 p.m. update: MPD Sergeant Raul Mendez confirms that three students were detained.

Original post: The early-morning evacuation of Harbin Hall was a response to the discovery of methamphetamine lab on the ninth floor of the dormitory, as earlier rumors alleged.

According to the Washington Post, the Department of Public Safety discovered the lab at approximately 5 a.m. while responding to a report of “strange odors” from a ninth-room floor in the dormitory.

After the jump, MPD finds chemicals for drug production, but no drugs, and fire alarms fail to sound when activated.

Harbin residents were evacuated from the dorm at approximately 6 a.m., while D.C Fire and Emergency Medical Services’s Hazard Materials unit was called to the scene at 6:15 a.m., according to DCFD spokesperson Pete PiringerWTOP reports that Metropolitan Police Department officers discovered “chemicals consistent with the production of meth” in the dorm room, but no drugs.

Ted Helfrich (MSB ’14), a resident of the eighth floor, claims that DPS officers knocked on his door after failing to set off the fire alarm fire alarms failed.

“Everyone was waking up and it was chaos everywhere,” Helfrich said. “They tried to pull the fire alarms, but they weren’t going off.”

Photo: Max Blodgett

At 9:19 a.m., Harbin residents received an email from Patrick Killilee, executive director of Student Housing, allowing them to re-enter the dormitory. Almost immediately afterward, however, the building was re-evacuated by emergency services to “ensure the all clear,” according to Jordan Gray, University spokesperson.

Confusion still seems to dominate the story, however. Depending on the source, MPD has detained either one, two, or three students.

47 Comments on “More on this morning’s evacuation, meth lab in Harbin

  1. Wait…not only was there a meth lab in a freshman dorm, but said 400-person dormitory had fire alarms that didn’t work? Swell…

  2. “Confusion still seems to dominate the story, however. Depending on the source, MPD has detained either one, two, or three students.”

    As a barely-legitimate news source, we here at the Voice will do nothing to find out what the correct number is. We will, however, point out that there is confusion.

    Also: “Everyone was waking up and it was chaos everywhere,” Helfrich said. “They tried to pull the fire alarms, but they weren’t going off.”

    The fire alarms wouldn’t work?! WTF is that about?

  3. DPS attempted to activate the fire alarms with negative results.

  4. There was a guy last night being arrested in front of tombs at like 2 am. mpd and dops were both there. And a lot of them. Not sure if he’s connected but he looked like a Hoya.

  5. yeah, i saw a man arrested at Rhino 3 weeks ago too, I also wonder if that’s related…


  6. Tim – sounds like the Voice has at least three sources with conflicting information; not sure why that is their fault. If they had gone with the first number they heard, they would have sounded definite but probably been wrong…

  7. Wow, just wow. I didn’t expect this kind of support from the Georgetown student body, not even if today was my last day. When I first came here, I felt pretty isolated as an international nonstudent and a rock superstar with washboard abs. I wasn’t sure if people would accept the heartthrob from Alberta as one of their own. Then I see this news story and I know exactly what happened. Some freshmen (bless their little hearts) heard about my connection to Georgetown and wanted to make me feel at home. They probably knew from some internet search engine searches that all there is to do in my home of rural Alberta is to smoke and/or snort crystal meth. I appreciate guys, I really do. Unfortunately, the fact of my rockstarhood has prevented me from indulging in a little taste of meth in quite a while and I would probably have to turn your gift away had it made it out of Harbin. But you have no idea how much I appreciate the gesture…really. You guys make me proud to say that I post on a semi-Georgetown related blog. I will never forget this.


  8. I think it’s ok to express confusion. It’s better to express confusion about not having the right information than to be definite and wrong.

  9. Best part of my morning? 6:07 am stumbling out of my room after being unable to find any socks or my coat and hearing a MPD officer say “5 doesn’t work, just like 6 and 7″. Gotta love the fire alarms THAT DON’T WORK.

  10. Wow. Do better, Georgetown. DPS is also like the competent part of campus (not) — no wonder they actually don’t know if the fire alarms are in working condition and it takes MPD to realize that they are not.

    What, did the burning pizza box conk off the fire alarms in Harbin last year?

  11. So my sister is telling me that she saw some people (3 to be exact) who were being treated roughly by the police. The fire alarms did not work and red phosphorous (an ingredient of meth) is deadly to breath in. The room was a double so, unless there were a bunch of open rooms to use then this is where the people were living. Also if three students were exposed like the news reports seem to be saying then 3 is probably the number involved. My sister also said the guys she saw were smirking.

  12. I think you mean the update was at 12:14 pm, not am. Unless you went forwards or backwards in time (who knows? Time travel may not seem like real life, but neither does a meth lab at Georgetown)

  13. How long until we get the names of these idiots? Last year Alex Thiele’s floor mates had the decency to tell the rest of us who shot that poor toilet.

  14. Just another incidence of the University discouraging student initiative.

  15. Seriously! People definitely know…and should have no shame in telling who it was.

  16. I’m gonna go ahead and ask the REAL important question here…

    how does this impact our flag football game against the harbin8ers??

  17. God dammit, where is a hard working student supposed to get his fix now?

    So what if i like to relax with a little meth pipe after a hard day of hitting the books in lau 2. I got midterms coming up too GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  18. Glad to see the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. Just hope they weren’t any of the kids I interviewed…

  19. Uh oh, this is national news now. Terrible, terrible for the school. The kid(s) responsible are a disgrace to Georgetown

  20. So… any guesses to the schools the little chemists belong to? I’ve got the SFS at 12:1.

  21. Oh man, this is bad. No matter how great The Gathering of the Juggalos was this year, you can’t take it back with you to Georgetown! How many times do I have to tell you? No more meth labs, no more Faygo orgies, and I better not see you throwing rocks at Lupe Fiasco! Tila Tequila and Method Man were one thing, but Lupe is still relevant! I knew I shouldn’t have invited those freshman to The Gathering…damn that Juggahoe Porterfield for always being right. If he can do a Prisoners and Poetry Prelude, I think I can organize a preorientation trip to The Gathering with my own money. Hey, at least it’s not Fiji! I might have to lay low for a while, put the facepaint back in the hidden desk drawer. I knew I should have stopped them from going to that Meth Lab seminar put on by Blaze Ya Dead Homie. All right, I just need to calm down, get the keg of Orange Faygo out, and try to enjoy this beautiful Saturday. Maybe put on some Dark Lotus, yeah that’ll calm me down.


  22. This really is an embarassment. These kids’ names should be immediately revealed, and the entire University community should condemn them in the harshest terms. I’m not even kidding. This is disgraceful, and it makes us all the butt of much-deserved jokes.

  23. This won’t score any more points with the neighbors…

  24. Pingback: Vox Populi » Drug lab found in Harbin Hall, students evacuated

  25. Probably two were in the MSB with their entrepreneurial sprit and all that. One was in the College, chem or bio major, to figure out the darned chemicals.

    Couldn’t be SFS kids – we are Sick of Science, remember? We can’t figure out chemicals and complicated scientific things like that.

  26. Clearly this is just a National Mole Day celebration gone wrong.

  27. Pingback: University Diaries » Meth Hall

  28. Well obviously we have a DRUG LORD in HARBIN HALL.

    We got yo’ meth scent
    You done left chemicals and all
    You are so dumb
    You are really dumb–for real


  29. Dimethyltryptamine? I guess we DO have a chemistry department after all.

  30. hahhaa i’d believe the earlier poster who said the suspects appeared to be smirking.. if they’d just taken a massive hit of DMT they were probably floating in some hyperdimensional vortex laughing it up with giant ethereal alien insectoids when dops showed up ahahahah i would’ve been disappointed if it was meth — i mean come on, we’re supposed to be more highbrow than that, but oh man, DMT at Georgetown, never thought I’d hear that one hahaa.

  31. The boys had to be in the College. DMT is a hippie drug. SFSers are usually not hippies. Methamphetamine, which is substantially similar to Adderall, is a drug for SFS kids. On the other hand, manufacturing involves doing real work and taking initiative, which is an SFS kind of thing.

  32. Seriously though? METH is like adderall? The only similarity is the “amphetamine”, but the “meth” makes a world of difference

  33. @@Joe Hoya; Whoa whoa, as a certified hippie SFS / CULP dude who has tried on numerous occasions to save the world, I reject your characterization, kind sir. I’d bet you’d find just as many psychonauts in Map class as you would among all the College kids who were unable to make it to their first class due to prior sleeping arrangements.

    The difference is probably more in approach to the experience. College students would probably, as Joe Rogan says, “give into the astonishment” of communicating with playful entities from another dimension of space-time. The SFSers would probably try to understand the nature of their civil society or something overanalytical like that. I mean, why limit yourself to the study of international relations if you can get right to work on some interdimensional relations?

  34. oh snap, names were just released, and one of them is an SFS-er. total vindication right here! seriously though, I hope for the best for these guys, regardless of their common sense lapse

  35. I hope the best for Georgetown and the hundreds of students burdened by these three clowns and their “common sense lapse” (i.e., their dangerous felony committed in a densely-populated dorm building).

  36. Kids, kids. Not in your room. Get yourself a job or a research assistantship in a bio or chem lab, one with fume hoods.

    Read Shulgin for tons of good synthesis information. There’s a JBC paper on mescaline synthesis around, too – you’ll be able to find the volume in the library, because it’s the only one from ’54 or so with a broken spine and patiently replaced pages, as that particular article has been xeroxed so many times the pages keep falling out.

    Sorry I can’t remember the exact citation for you any longer, it’s been too long since I’ve read it.

  37. Was the students’ activity dangerous? Was it any more dangerous than routine activities that do occur in campus housing?

  38. @Tim: It was the cops that shut down Harbin, not the students. According to Mr Todd Olsen himself, no students were ever put in harm’s way, outside of whatever crazy isht was going down in that room.

  39. Pingback: Vox Populi » Students charged for manufacturing DMT, arraignment on Monday

  40. Pingback: DMT Lab Discovered in Georgetown Dorm | The GW Patriot

  41. Pingback: Vox Populi » University administrators respond to Saturday’s DMT arrests

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