The Collegian
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Federal agents pursue narcotics case on campus

United States federal agents were at the University of Richmond on Sept. 24, conducting part of an ongoing narcotics investigation that involves at least one Richmond College student.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, a government agency that investigates mail-related crimes, had a warrant for a package that belonged to an RC student, said Howard Norton, Chief of the University of Richmond Police Department.

After the student picked up a package from the university post office, federal agents followed him back to his on-campus residence.

"They seized some items [from the residence], but did not arrest anyone," Norton said.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been conducting the on-campus investigation independent of the URPD.

No arrests have been made at this time, said Damon Wood, one of the federal agents who was on campus on Sept. 14.

The government agency contacted university police late Friday afternoon, requesting URPD's assistance on delivering a set of documents to the student, Norton said.

The purpose of this "service of process" procedure is to legally notify a person, who has been accused of an offense, that a case or lawsuit has been filed against him or her.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and URPD were unable to disclose details of the items that were confiscated from the RC student's residence.

University police were not aware of the federal investigation until Friday afternoon, when they were contacted by the agency, Norton said. URPD assisted the agents while they were on campus, but were not briefed with the details of the ongoing investigation.

"We have made some progress [on the investigation]," Wood said.

Norton said that during his 28 years at the university, these incidents have happened only "a dozen or so" times.

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"In the last couple of years," Norton said, "we've seen an increased number of cases of the recovery of drugs and drug paraphernalia."

Norton noted that most of these cases involve drugs with lesser legal penalities associated with their possession, sale or use, such as marijuana. This investigation, which involves narcotics, is not common on campus, Norton said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Contact staff writer Fred Shaia at

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