Excerpt from “Here and Now” Public Radio Show
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, announced last month that the school’s police force would stop using students as confidential informants. The decision came after the October 2013 death of a confidential informant known only as “Logan.”
Logan had been caught selling LSD and the club drug “Molly,” and the campus police offered to drop the charges if he helped them make a drug bust that night. Months later, Logan’s parents found him dead of a heroin overdose without ever having been told of his arrest.
“The cops went into his dorm room and found a bunch of drugs and money and found him responsible for dealing drugs and they offered him a chance to drop those charges and help himself out. Within a number of hours, he was equipped with a wiring device.”
“So when the police entered his dorm room they found a hypodermic needle, an assortment of drugs, and they dropped all charges against him for his role as a confidential informant. There was no parental notification triggered because he wasn’t found responsible for any drug policy violations.”
“That’s one of the things that Logan’s mother, that really stuck with her. She saw it as a chance that she could have helped her son if she would have known that he had a hypodermic needle in his room. If she had known that drugs were getting him in trouble at school, she says she would have driven up to school in Amherst that very night and straightened him out, and pulled him out of school, and got him into rehab. It’s certainly a tough thing for her to handle.”
Related Excerpt from Boston Globe’s Article
Now, his death is raising questions about whether the university did enough to help a student with a serious drug problem, whether it had any business making such an offer to a vulnerable undergraduate, and whether it has fully come to grips with the fact that the heroin epidemic has not spared the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts.
Campus police agreed not to seek criminal charges against Logan or notify his parents after he agreed to become a confidential informant, code named “CI-8,” something Logan called “an offer I can’t refuse” in a text message to a friend. In December 2012, Logan led police to another dealer — who was immediately arrested and suspended — while Logan remained a student in good standing.