Marijuana found at scene of Richardson hall fire, police say

By Melissa Proulx
On March 18, 2014

The UNH Police Department has begun working on a case, which appears to involve illicit drug manufacturing on campus, after a minor fire was started in the Richardson House, one of the mini-dorms on campus, on Sunday night.

According to a press release issued by the department on Monday, dispatch received a call about the extinguished fire shortly after 10 p.m. that night. The police investigated and found marijuana, glassware and other unspecified illicit drugs. The press release stated that even though the one student who lived in the room is no longer living on campus, no charges have been issued as of yet.

According to a report published by WMUR, only one student was taken to the hospital as a result of the fire. The student was treated for minor burns caused by trying to put out the flames, but the report did not specify whether or not the student lived in the room.

Paul Dean, the executive director of safety, could not comment any further on anything surrounding the case due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, including the potential charges that the individual could face.

"We haven't completed our investigation, so it would be premature for me to speculate on potential charges," Dean said in an email.

However, Dean was able to say that he is not aware of a similar case ever occurring previously  at UNH, and that he hopes to prevent another case like this from happening in the future.

"I urge anyone with information about illicit drug activity in our community to contact the police department," Dean said in the release. "This was a minor incident, but it could have been much more serious. We will not tolerate this behavior on our campus and will work to keep every member of our campus safe."

Josh Leach, the mini-dorms hall director, could not be reached at this time.

Richardson House is located in the mini-dorm complex behind Williamson and Christenson halls and houses 43 first-year students. Though the small hall consists primarily of single rooms, they do have five double rooms to offer to incoming students.

Anyone with information about illicit drug activity is strongly encouraged to contact the University of New Hampshire Police Department at (603) 862-1427. Information can also be submitted anonymously through the "Silent Witness" feature on the department's website (http://www.unh.edu/upd/).


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