Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


The Drug Bust, 1970


On March 28, 1970, at 1:30 in the morning, eighty-five state and local police officers raided seventeen university premises and four off campus locations in a large scale drug bust. Sixteen people were arrested, including twelve students, and in the following two weeks, police arrested eight more students in connection with the raid.

Three weeks prior to the raid, police arrested a non-Tufts student found operating an LSD lab in the basement of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Police suspected that the man was operating in collusion with Tufts students, but did not have any concrete proof. For the next couple of weeks, however, police began working in close cooperation with university officials to uncover serious drug use on campus. University officials provided Medford police with information that they had gathered internally, specifically about rumors of heroin use on campus. The week before the bust, a Tufts student also went to the Medford police to inform them of heroin use at Tufts.

On the morning of March 28, police armed with search warrants and using master keys provided by the administration, raided the campus. Rooms in Carmichael, Miller, Hill, and Wren were searched, along with numerous campus houses. Police discovered a large quantity of narcotics and paraphernalia, including marijuana, LSD, and hashish. As news of the bust spread across campus, over three hundred students congregated on the residential quad, blocking police vehicles and throwing stones. Several police cars were damaged before the was dispersed.

At 2:15 the same morning, 250 students gathered in the Carmichael lounge to discuss the raid and gather any relevant information. They gathered money to post bail for the arrested students, and planned a major rally for the next afternoon. At 9:00, the sixteen who had been arrested were arraigned before Middlesex Country Superior Court on charges ranging from presence to intent to distribute, and a trial date was set for April 14.

At 1:00 in the afternoon on March 29, 800 students gathered for a rally on the residential quad. After much discussion, the students made six demands to the administration. Among other demands they asked that the university pay all the legal costs of those arrested, that no university discipline be taken against those arrested or implicated, and that no information about Tufts students, either personal or political, be given to outside persons or agencies without the permission of the student. Many students felt that the raid was aimed directly at dissidents and black radicals, who were being targeted by police across the country. The university's part in the raid infuriated students, and they demanded open access to all of the university's student files. Although Dean Schmidt assured students that no information about personal or political beliefs was on file, and that the raid would have happened without university involvement, students remained angry.

In the week following the bust, students continued to protest, while police arrested eight more students who hadn't been home at the time of the original raid. By the end of the trial, the courts found five students innocent, while eighteen others were given probation terms ranging from six months to two years. One case was dropped due to inadmissible evidence. After the initial furor died down, the Tufts and the CSL quietly terminated all action against those involved in the bust. The raid, however, remains the largest one time police raid on the Tufts campus, and was one of the closing events to a turbulent year at Tufts University.

Source: TW

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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