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Drug dealing charged at SMC residence hall

Published 8:53am Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shannon McCracken
Shannon McCracken

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

Cass County Drug Enforcement Team announced Tuesday that on March 10 a student was arrested at the Southwestern Michigan College student housing complex off Mathews Street.

CCDET investigators were contacted through Dowagiac Police Department by “suspicious” SMC staff regarding complaints about illegal drug sales.

After investigation, one subject from Berrien County was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

Detectives confiscated “multiple amounts” of marijuana, packaging materials, scales and a cell phone from a student room in McKenzie Hall.

Shannon McCracken, 19, was arrested at the scene, handcuffed and lodged at the Cass County Jail on multiple drug-related offenses.

McCracken was arraigned in Fourth District Court of Cass County.

Bond was set at $20,000 cash/surety.

SMC President Dr. David Mathews told the Daily News Tuesday afternoon that McCracken was evicted from student housing and expelled from SMC in accordance with the housing agreement students sign.

“The only good side of this is we didn’t have to agonize over what to do,” Mathews said.
College officials spent the year before its first student housing facility opened last summer – a second is under construction to open fall semester – anticipating “every conceivable scenario.”

It was “cut and dried” that there would be zero tolerance for illegal drugs, Mathews said, adding that alcohol is not allowed in the dorm – even if students are of legal age to consume it.

SMC searched the room, giving the suspect “every opportunity” to stop any illegal activity that might have been going on.
Mathews said there is no evidence as to who customers might have been or where such transactions occurred – although cell phone records could help with that “reconstruction.”

If McCracken seeks a closed hearing before the dean of students to appeal his suspension, two questions come into play.

First, did he forfeit the right to live in student housing?

Second, would violating the code of conduct prevent him from continuing as a student?
This matter remains under investigation.

Anyone with information on this case or other drug crimes is asked to contact CCDET at (269) 782-5206 or the tip line at 1-800-462-9328.

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