Five Columbia undergraduates were arrested Tuesday on charges that they sold drugs to fellow students.

According to an article by Chris Dolmetsch and Karen Freifeld in Bloomberg News:

The indictment of the students and three other people followed a five-month investigation called “Operation Ivy League,” authorities said yesterday. Undercover officers spent $11,000 in 31 purchases of drugs including cocaine, marijuana, powdered MDMA or ecstasy, and LSD-laced Altoids mints and Sweetarts candy, the New York City Police Department and Bridget G. Brennan, a special narcotics prosecutor, said in a statement.

The Columbia students arrested were Chris Coles, Harrison David, Adam Klein, Jose Stephan Perez, and Michael Wymbs. All of the students pleaded not guilty.

“I just sell it to pay tuition,” Coles reportedly said as he was being arrested.

Tuition at Columbia is about $41,000 a year. The students would have to be running a very efficient business to actually cover that. Most drug dealers don’t make nearly enough to pay for Columbia. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer