UMass Student ODs After Campus Police Concealed Addiction
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When 20-year-old Logan was busted for selling drugs in 2012, University of Massachusetts campus police turned him into a confidential informant and helped conceal the offense from his parents. Logan died of a heroin overdose nearly a year later and now his death is raising questions.
After UMass police caught Logan selling LSD and Molly, they seized the drugs along with a hypodermic needle and approximately $700 in cash. But instead of being arrested and suspended from school, Logan was recruited into the confidential informant program and given a clean slate. And while UMass requires parents to be notified when a student violates their drug policy, Logan’s agreement to cooperate with police afforded him a loophole that kept his parents in the dark.
Last October, Logan’s father and stepmother drove to their son’s off-campus apartment for UMass Amherst Family Weekend. When they stepped inside, they found Logan lying dead on the bathroom floor with a needle and spoon nearby. They knew Logan had been arrested for cocaine possession several years earlier, but thought their son was clean and had no idea he was addicted to heroin.
Logan’s family later learned their son’s drug addiction was concealed because of his involvement in the confidential informant program. “I was never informed,” his mother said. “If I was informed, things would have been a lot different. I would have more than stepped in. I probably would have pulled him out of school and got him help or whatever he needed.”
Although police found a hypodermic needle in Logan’s apartment during the bust, they didn’t find any heroin. According to Campus Police Chief John Horvath, the needle could have been used for other illicit drugs besides heroin and since Logan adamantly denied having a drug problem, the responding officers believed him.
“There was no indication in the officers’ conversations with him that he had become a heroin user,” said Deputy Chief Patrick Archbald. “They believed what he was telling them.”
But Logan’s mother argued the officers should have known the hypodermic needle was being used for heroin, and furthermore, they should have done something about it. “If you find a needle on my kid, you have to assume it’s heroin,” said Logan’s mother. “And if it’s heroin, you have to say something. You have to. Because that’s the drug that kills everybody.”