Charles Smith (SFS ’14) and University of Richmond freshman John Perrone, who were arrested on Saturday after an alleged DMT lab was found in Smith’s Harbin Hall room, were released after a hearing in D.C.’s U.S. District Court Wednesday.
Smith and Perrone’s lawyers waived their clients’ right to a preliminary and a pre-detention hearing. Judge Deborah Robinson, the presiding judge at the hearing, ordered that Smith and Perrone be placed into the custody of their parents in Andover, Mass. until their next D.C. court date on Jan. 24.
Smith and Perrone face federal charges of “conspiracy to manufacture” and “possession with intent to distribute” Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) after officials discovered an alleged drug lab early Saturday morning in Harbin 926, Smith’s dorm room.
John Romano (COL ’14), Smith’s roommate, was also arrested on Saturday but was released and relieved of all charges at a Monday hearing at U.S. District Court. According to The Washington Post, Smith informed officials that Romano was not involved in any illegal activity after they both had been taken into custody.
Smith and Perrone could each be sentenced to 20 years in prison and fines of $1 million, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s federal trafficking penalties for a Schedule I drug like DMT. An endogenous hallucinogen that can be inhaled, smoked or ingested, DMT can replicate the sensation of a near-death experience or a dreaming state.
Smith and Perrone must now report to federal pre-trial services in Massachusetts no later than the end of business hours on Friday. Robinson has ordered that they be subjected to electronic monitoring that will bar them from exiting a to-be-determined radius in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area.
Other provisions of the release require Smith and Perrone to comply with a curfew and undergo drug and substance abuse testing. They must also seek and maintain full-time employment or enrollment in a university while they reside at their parents’ addresses. The U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has accepted courtesy supervision of Smith and Perrone until their next court date.
“They’re young men and scared to death,” Alan Dale, Perrone’s lawyer, said after his client’s release. “We are moving forward,” said David Schertler, Smith’s lawyer.
*Hoya Staff Writer Eamon O’Connor contributed to this report.*