In the latest in a series of crackdowns on student drug use, University Police arrested two students Wednesday following the interception of a Venmo payment with the memo line “Drugzzzzz lol.”
LSA juniors Laura Gonzalez and Michelle Price, who share an apartment in the 900 block of Hill St., had the transaction information seized instantaneously by DPS, after it was shared publicly on the mobile payment service Venmo.
“What we found is very concerning,” DPS Chief Darius Waller said. “We found transactions between these two, systems of transactions related to the transfer of narcotics.”
He continued, “We also discovered Facebook messages that preceded these transactions, often by mere hours, such as ‘You still haven’t paid me for cable’ and ‘Electricity is $24 this month.’ Considering what they posted on Venmo afterwards, we believe this was code for ‘Pay me back for the illegal narcotics I scored for us.’”
According to reports, Gonzalez sent Price anywhere from $20–$25 at the start of each month for goods that were variously referred to as “drugzzzzz,” “drugzzzzzzzzzz,” and “drugs :~)” in the memo line, and the two engaged in odd payments at other points throughout as well. The Venmo posts were reportedly laden with frivolous emojis, improper grammar, and the encouragement of an unlawful lifestyle.
“The two gave us a lot to dig through. One payment description from February was just the word ‘sex’ and now solicitation of prostitution is on the table as a possible additional charge,” Waller continued. “We even found a payment that said ‘Murder for hire’ with a knife emoji after it, but we have enough evidence to conclude that this was a joke.”
Police officials say that they intend to also prosecute any friends or acquaintances who liked and commented on these posts for obstruction of justice.
“The extent of unlawful activity shared publicly on this website is just mind-blowing,” Waller said. “This intricate network of non-stop, routine criminal transactions makes my team wonder how these roommates ever had money for going out for drinks together, buying food for their apartment, or paying their shared utility bills.”