Courts hashing out punishments for ASU student-run drug ring
An initial traffic stop for illegal HOV lane usage escalated into the capture of a group of ASU students accused of manufacturing and selling ecstasy.
The car, driven by tech entrepreneurship management student Andrew Gajkowski, had a pungent marijuana odor to it. Department of Public Safety officer Stuart R. McGuffin searched the vehicle and found not only marijuana but a bag containing hundreds of pills that “showed a positive reaction for methamphetamine/MDMA,” according to a probable cause statement issued in December 2013.
A search of Gajkowski’s apartment room in the Vista del Sol complex revealed an estimated 500 ecstasy pills and materials to manufacture 10,000-20,000 more. The probable cause statement said this could total an approximate $100,000.
Five participants in drug eliciting were arrested on accounts of “acts to possess marijuana, manufacture dangerous drugs, possess dangerous drugs, possess dangerous drugs for sale, transportation of dangerous drugs for sale, money laundering, conducting an illegal enterprise, and conspiracy,” according to the Probable Cause Statement.
Roommates Gajkowski, Kevin Kimes and Hunter Ault, all 20, and friends Edward Ortiz, 19, and Malik Hooper II, 18, were all involved in the operation, according to the statement.
Trials have progressed accordingly over the past five months. So far, Kimes has been hit the hardest by penalties.
He pleaded guilty to possession of dangerous drugs for sale and possession of chemicals and equipment to manufacture a dangerous drug, according to court records. A plea agreement released on May 1 revealed possible punishments.
Kimes will face a maximum sentence of one year in the Arizona Department of Corrections and will be on supervised probation once discharged. Additionally, Kimes has been charged a total of $5,490, and his bond payments have been eliminated.
He will also complete 100 hours of community service and give up property seized in the investigation.
Ortiz faces charges of possession and possession for sale of marijuana, possession of dangerous drugs and possession for sale and illegal control of enterprise. This comes after Hooper told police Ortiz extracted Tetrahydrocannabinol from marijuana, which Gajkowski then sold.
Ortiz’s final court date has been extended to July 29. A final trial management conference will be held May 21.
As of April 3, Ault faced charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. He faces one year of probation, payments of $60 per month for a year beginning in June, and 24 hours of community service.
Hooper faces the same charges, but they have been designated as a misdemeanor, according to court documents. He was discharged from prison and faces 100 hours of community service.
Gajkowski, called a “tweek” by Hooper in an interview on Dec. 5 with police, had his final court date extended to July 29. As of press time, he faces two bond payments: one of $100,000 and the other of $25,000 for drug monitoring and PSA supervision.
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