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MU residence hall death draws concerns over drug violations on campus

More than 200 University of Missouri students were arrested for drug violations in campus residence halls in a three-year period.

From 2014-16, 209 students were arrested for such violations in residence halls, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

ABC 17 compared 2014-16 statistics to other mid-Missouri universities of similar size. MU had the highest total of students arrested for drug violations in residence halls all three years.

From Sept. 9, 2018 to Feb. 8, 2019, the University of Missouri Police Department responded to 74 drug possessions at MU residence halls.

The university is considered a dry campus, according to University of Missouri student handbook. This means students and staff are not allowed to have any alcohol or controlled substance on campus.

MU Spokesman Christian Basi said resident assistants are required to do room checks once per semester.

“(Residential Life) can enter to inspect a room at any reasonable time if there is reason to believe a violation of an MU policy has been committed,” Basi said in an email.

Students who do not comply to campus drug rules can be expelled.

“Local, state and federal laws also prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution and sale of alcohol and illicit drugs,” according to the student handbook. “Criminal penalites for violation of such laws range from fines up to $20,000 to imprisonment for terms up to and including life.”

But a number of students still violated these rules.

Most recently, Carson Latimer was arrested and booked into Boone County Jail on Thursday after he was charged in connection with the death of MU student Boston Perry.

Police said when they searched Latimer’s dorm room, they found marijuana and a pill matching the imprint of the Percoet found next to Perry’s bed. Before he died, Perry was living in Mark Twain Residence Hall on MU’s campus.

Latimer is in the Boone County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond. His attorney has asked a Boone County judge to reduce the bond to $10,000 cash or surety.

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