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Two ZBT brothers charged; actions will be handled individually as of now

TANYA THOMPSON // Hurricane Staff

TANYA THOMPSON // Hurricane Staff

The Zeta Beta Tau national fraternity is approaching the police search on the UM chapter’s house on an individual basis.

“The brothers of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity at the University of Miami are ashamed of the actions of a few individual members acting on their own accord,” said Laurence A. Bolotin, the organization’s associate executive director, in a statement.

The two individuals arrested by Coral Gables police after an ongoing investigation into the sale and distribution of illegal drugs are Robert Joseph Falk and Mitchell Wade Pielet. Both are 20 years old.

Falk was charged on four counts: two felony counts of sale and possession of cannabis, one felony count of possessing a contraband substance and one misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia. He was bonded out after having it set at $1,000.

Pielet was charged with one count of sale and possession of cannabis, and bonded out after having it set at $7,500.

The statement continued to say that these individuals have been expelled from the fraternity and evicted from the property.

The local Zeta Beta Tau chapter is still under suspension from the national organization, according to Dean Tony Lake, the associate dean of students.

Lake continued to say that UM is still in the beginning stages of their investigation.

This matter will stay an individual matter unless certain circumstances are discovered. This could include the fraternity’s finances being involved in the sale of illegal drugs.

“Switching from an individual matter to a fraternal matter is not an A to B thing,” Lake said.

Lake does not use the past ZBT member incident in 2007 to evaluate this current issue. In Nov. 2007, ZBT expelled three of its members after they were accused of assaulting a UM student in a drug-related disagreement.

“If you had all kinds of cases from the same floor no one would ever say the floor should be closed,” he said. “If the same thing happened with a frat everyone wants the frat to be closed down.”

February 25, 2009

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Ed S. Fishman

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.