Six Southern students accused of dealing drugs on campus

Drugs, gun seized from campus

Michael Richard, 28, AKA “Puppy.”  Richard, who is not a student at the university, is still at large.
Michael Richard, 28, AKA “Puppy.” Richard, who is not a student at the university, is still at large.

Six Southern University students were arrested Friday on allegations they have been selling marijuana on campus — the result of a monthlong investigation involving several local law enforcement agencies.

Undercover agents, at the behest of school administrators, began buying drugs from the suspects and seized 55.4 grams ­— about 2 ounces — of marijuana from a dormitory belonging to three of the students, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Three of the students — Joshua Watkins, 21, Trenton Nzekwesi, 22, and Devin Stampley, 20 — were roommates in a dormitory and had been working together to sell drugs on campus, Hicks said. Detectives also found a pistol in Watkins’ vehicle.

Two other students, Edward Paul Rideaux, 20, and Brandon Wells, 19, live off campus and allegedly acted alone, Hicks said, as was 22-year-old Keith Jupiter, a student who lives on campus.

Chancellor James Llorens said in a statement that the arrests were “sad for the students and their families” but also “symbolic of our mission to keep our law-abiding students and visitors safe on the Baton Rouge campus.”

“Illegal activity, no matter the scale and scope, will not be tolerated here,” Llorens said. “We will do everything in our power to have lawbreakers arrested and removed from our campus.”

All of the students were booked on various drug counts, including distribution of marijuana.

Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by Southern University police, the Baton Rouge Constable’s Office and the Delta Drug Task Force, Hicks said.

Agents on Friday were still looking for Michael “Puppy” Richard, a non-student wanted for distribution of marijuana and violation of a drug-free zone.

Deputies asked anyone with information regarding his whereabouts to call (225) 389-5000.