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Princeton University Student Arrested for Drug Possession

Julian Edgren
Julian Edgren

A Princeton University student and Princeton High School graduate who showed up yesterday at the Frist Campus Center mailroom at Princeton University to pick up parcels found himself under arrest by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security intercepted a package from overseas in mid-December containing approximately seven grams of ecstasy addressed to Julian Edgren at Princeton University. Princeton University’s Department of Public Safety was contacted and, in turn, reached out to the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force for assistance, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini, Jr. said.

Task force officers were assigned as surveillance inside and outside Frist Campus Center in an attempt to detain any individual who retrieved the parcel. On Tuesday, Jan. 6, at approximately 4 p.m., officers arrested Edgren after he signed for and retrieved the package containing the ecstasy and two additional packages. Search warrants were executed on one of the additional parcels and Edgren’s dormitory room in Edwards Hall. Psilocybin, commonly known as mushrooms, allegedly was found in the additional package. A search of Edgren’s room allegedly revealed an additional quantity of psilocybin, 31 marijuana cookies, and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Edgren was carrying a duffel bag containing about half an ounce of liquid LSD, 55 grams of marijuana, five grams of hashish, 60 Adderall pills, a laptop computer, two digital scales, and $400 in cash, law enforcement officials said.

Edgren, 20, is charged with five counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, five counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, one count of possession of a prescription legend drug, one count of a prescription legend drug with the intent to distribute, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is free on $25,000 bail.

“He is enrolled but at this time he is prohibited from being on campus,” Princeton University Spokesman Martin Mbugua said.

Officers with the prosecutor’s office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Princeton University Department of Public Safety, the county sheriff’s office, the New Jersey State Police, and the Hamilton, Lawrence, Princeton and Trenton police, under the command of Lt. Mike Novembre, assisted in the investigation.

Novembre said the approximate street value of the seized drugs is $400 for the psilocybin totaling 40 grams, $420 for the Adderall pills, $1,100 for the marijuana, $500 for the LSD, $280 for the ecstasy, and $175 for the hashish.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • ruthenium66

    But you’re wrong. Go to Google News and search on “arrested again” at this moment and you will see 84,000 listings…with names listed and many have photos. My point was NOT that he’s not innocent; it was that he is NOT in the protected class of people–minors–whose anonymity is preserved in the press. I DO think he has the right to a fair trial in which he is presumed innocent until proven guilty (or not); nothing I wrote contradicted that. His privacy is not to be protected but his right to a fair trial should be. Of course. And the press has the right to print the name and photo of an arrested adult. And boy do they, from the NYT to The Star.

  • lilymanx

    But again, this kid is clearly not a threat. So tracking and prosecuting and imprisoning him, all very expensive, are a bad use of resources. All it will accomplish is to ruin a kid’s life.

  • Cooper11

    Apparently, they can do both.

  • lilymanx

    Cooper11, it may technically be within its jurisdiction, but it was clearly a shipment of recreational drugs going to a college campus. No cause for amber alerts. Law enforcement has tolerated the presence of recreational drugs and underage drinking on college campuses for years. I’m pretty sure most Americans would rather Homeland Security used our tax dollars to track terrorists and stop them from killing people instead of using them to trap college kids and prevent them from doing recreational drugs.

  • Jerry

    He wasn’t being an idiot, he is an idiot. There is a difference

  • dc

    Oh, come on. I went to high school with Julian too, and he’s not dumb or naive. He was the furthest thing from a dealer in high school, but he was extremely smart.

    He knew what he was doing, tried to make some money, and got caught. Don’t act like he just had no idea that drugs were bad or dangerous, or that dealing them was no big deal. He knew exactly what he was doing, but probably didn’t think he’d get busted. I don’t think this all makes him a bad person, but he committed a major crime, and I’m sorry, does deserve to face the ramifications for it.

  • dc

    I went to high school with this kid too, and I’m TOTALLY shocked. Like, this kid was completely straight edge.

    But, unfortunately, he made some bad decisions, he knew he was breaking the law, and he knew what the potential consequences were. He was incredibly smart in high school, but that doesn’t put him above the law. I feel bad that he felt like this was his only option, but I have no idea why you would think he should be exempt from the repercussions for his actions.

  • Cooper11

    Except the government didn’t “target” him. It targeted the drugs. He happened to be the recipient.

    I think what all these sympathetic posters are saying is that he was a nice non threatening dude and there are worse people out there.

    That comes up during sentencing.

  • Monika Rei

    innocent until proven guilty. and not proven by you or other people in this society but in a fair trial. by a judge. that’s what he is paid for. odd that names and photographs of innocent (because not yet proven guilty) persons are allowed to be published.

  • usedtobeconservative

    He has a future in finance . . .

  • A8

    Don’t act like you know his life and automatically make incorrect assumptions about him. “have fun in prison” ? really?

  • guest

    stop acting so self-righteous. There are far worse situations in the nation that the government chooses to sweep under the rug, and they choose to target an Ivy League college student with high potential? Sickening. What a complete waste of their resources. As if prisons didn’t already have an overcrowding problem because of drug-related offenses. The war on drugs is a complete failure. Illegal drugs have become cheaper and more concentrated, meaning the world supply is only increasing. As soon as he is sent to jail, the number of dealers have already multiplied. This is not the right approach. What an absolute shame. Julian does not deserve this. He does not deserve to be thrown in jail like this.

  • CryptoReporter

    They go after small time users/sellers spending exorbitant
    amounts of resources, YET look a blind eye to illegal immigration and the countless crimes & murders committed because of that.

  • Cooper11

    Customs and Border Protection is part of DHS. They regulate trade and enforce the drug laws. This is very within its jurisdiction.

  • lilymanx

    Yeah, I know, but why is Homeland Security involved with overseas shipments of LSD, etc.? How are these drugs, which HS knew were being sent to a college campus, a threat to national security? Personally, I’d rather they spent my tax dollars thwarting terrorists who are trying to kill lots of people.

  • RodneyA

    He made a conscious decision to break the law and got caught. No sympathy here.

  • Cooper11

    An overseas shipment of drugs.

  • CryptoReporter

    I was mainly referring to the war on drugs. $100K or more spent to take down someone with personal amount of drugs totaling $2000. The math doesnt add up (hence the common core jab). If the guy was doing 50 million a year in drug sales, then YEAH by all means lets take him down and lock him up.

  • Cooper11

    They should but arent.

  • Joe

    This story was carried on the Daily Princetonian web site but there was no picture. The arrest was in most of the local news outlets and with a picture. I’m sorry for the kid’s situation but he’s lucky that he had enough money to make bail and he will have enough resources to get the best lawyers for his defense. The poor kids who can’t make bail go right to jail.

  • student01

    you are acting like you know him personally. I actually do. you are wrong when you say “clearly he’s no dummy since he got into Princeton”. having straight A’s in high school and appearing smart in the eyes of college admissions doesn’t mean that you have an actual sense of how to live in this world intelligently. I would even argue that it would have been to his benefit to learn how to sell drugs at a much earlier age than in college. He was completely innocent in high school and I feel like he would have thought even I was too bad of a kid to hang around. I think he started selling as a way of making a name for himself and having something interesting going on in life. You say “he’s no victim”, and you’re right in a big sense. He comes from a place of privilege and didn’t need to be selling these drugs. But thats what makes it so shocking to me. In Princeton (the town not the college) theres a small but prominent culture of kids who do and sell drugs (mostly weed) in a very casual way, and it seems to be a direct product of living in an affluent, wealthy town, wanting to rebel, let off some of the intense pressure that comes with living in such an “education” driven environment, and distinguish yourself as “cool” among your peers. Since this kid went to the charter school, they probably spared him of those health class videos that tell you not to do drugs just to be cool. And so when college came around he was THAT naive. I just wanted to give you that background. Its pretty fucked up to say “have fun in jail”. Sure, maybe you feel that all drug offenders deserve equal punishment from the law, but even though I’ve made fun of this kid as recently as 2 weeks ago for being an unlikely and unexperienced drug dealer, I’m now praying that his punishment is as light as possible. This kid was harmless. He was just being an idiot.

  • lilymanx

    I feel sorry for this kid. He just got unlucky that Homeland Security got involved; nothing would have happened otherwise. Why is Homeland Security even bothering with cases like this? He’s not a threat to public safety.

  • CCSS reader

    Common Core has only been recently implemented, and it is not even a nationwide requirement. It is highly unlikely this kid received any Common Core education in high school.

  • Cooper11

    I think some disappointed potential clients are around.

  • Leeroy

    I have no sympathy for this idiot. However, the massive amount of taxpayer dollars that went into arresting him and the massive amount of taxpayer dollars to keep him in jail makes me say that we might be better off not doing large interdepartmental police investigations for college students getting drugs.

  • Studentlocal1

    I’m seeing a lot of discussion about this and wanted to just chime in to maybe clear things up for some people. I know this kid personally from high school and he was the least likely to ever deal drugs. In high school he wasn’t even associated with any sketchy figures. My guess (well not really guess, since I saw him last New Years and he mentioned that he had just started selling weed) is that he just started getting involved with selling these drugs at princeton as a way of making a name for himself and being “that guy” (who was already from they area and) who could help people out if they needed it, as a way of building his rep. He was the furthest from anyone who I would have thought would get caught up in this and it’s a total shock to read this article. As recent as 2 weeks ago I made a joke about him selling weed (that was the extent of what I thought it was) and how unexpected even that was. So for everyone saying “This kid is a criminal who deserves the full extent of the law!!” I hope this post gives you a little insight, even if you don’t want his privilege to get in the way of his punishment

  • RodneyA

    I stand by my comment. I’m glad he got arrested. Maybe daddy will bail him out, like he’s done over and over and over and over… He’s a rich little daddy’s boy and thought nothing would happen to him. Oops. Guess he was wrong. He knew what he was doing was illegal and he did it anyway. He made a choice.

  • deb

    So much for innocent til proven guilty in your book, eh? In most civilized countries the full names of ACCUSED persons are not published, only those of CONVICTED persons. I guess if someone falsely accused you of rape you would be fine with having your name and picture in the paper before you ever got your day in court.

  • deb

    I lived in Amsterdam for six years, married to a Dutch guy. My children were born there and I speak the language fluently. None of these drugs are legal in Amsterdam, not even marijuana.

    Marijuana sale, possession and use is TOLERATED by the police in the Netherlands on a limited scale. Very few Dutch people smoke it (a much smaller percentage of the population than here). The “koffieshops” are filled with tourists from the US, UK and Germany, or what I like to call the three most repressed societies in the west.

    Because of the tolerant attitude to alcohol (drinking age 16) and cannabis (18 to even enter a koffieshop, strictly enforced), people there hardly use any other drugs. It’s a WAAAAAY better approach than our utterly failed one.

    As for laws being sacred, would you have turned in a runaway slave? Given up your Jewish neighbors to the Nazis? Never had a drink in the 1930s? There’s a lot of stupid laws that deserve to be broken. Our drug laws are insane and they must go. As Cryptoreporter mentions above, what a waste of resources, look at all the manpower used to arrest this kid. Wonder how many people were shot in Trenton while they were busy hunting down this guy.

    He was a businessman selling products for which there is a demand. Is there anything more American than that?

  • Poly Paradyme

    End the war on drugs. End the war on consciousness. Let people do what they want and provide them the means to be informed and do it safely. Because otherwise they will do it unsafely and/or profit from the black market. There’s tax money just waiting to be reaped.

  • Poly Paradyme

    Drugs should be legal. Prohibition does far more damage than the drugs ever will. Harm reduction and taxation.

  • Poly Paradyme

    The Us Government used to import cocaine and no one was ever held accountable.

  • A

    you’re an insensitive idiot. you have no idea who this kid is and you bag on the guy?. “Have fun in prison.”? who are you to say crap like this. not saying you should sympathize but at least keep comments like that to yourself. keep that in mind next time you want to say something.

  • DD

    Ssearch warrants? I always knew the police were snakes…

  • Fantod

    It’s not that he is a victim. It’s that arresting such people is a)contradictory: we let people sell and consume alcohol, and now marijuana which are drugs; and b) it’s a losing game this war on drugs. As long as their is demand, there will be a supplier. We use billions in tax dollars to house and feed these “criminals”. They even go to college from jail on our dollar. Seriously, if there’s no victim, is there really a crime?

  • Fantod

    I thought we finally realized that the war on drugs has failed. They’ll be another guy taking this guy’s place tomorrow. Supply and demand. It’s a waste of effort, a waste of tax dollars to pursue drug dealers. People have been doing drugs since they learned to use their opposable thumbs and they will continue to do so regardless of how many of them we throw into overcrowded prisons.

  • CryptoReporter

    Common Core at its finest!

    – $400 for the psilocybin
    – $1100 for the marijuana
    – $500 for the LSD
    – $280 for the ecstasy
    – $175 for the hashish
    – FREE for the Adderall (ehh, Obamacare)

    Tax payer funds to investigate and make arrest: $20,000
    Tax payer funds for conviction and prison time: $80,000

    Common Core: PRICELESS!

  • Guest

    Common Core at its finest!

    – $400 for the psilocybin
    – $1100 for the marijuana
    – $500 for the LSD
    – $280 for the ecstasy
    – $175 for the hashish
    – FREE for the Adderall (ehh, Obamacare)

    Tax payer funds to investigate and make arrest: $20,000
    Tax payer funds for conviction and prison time: $80,000

    Common Core: PRICELESS

  • Cat

    This is fucked up. Don’t need to put him on blast.

  • CryptoReporter

    Can we all be reasonable and break this stuff down please?

    Edgren was carrying:

    – a duffel bag (for gym class)
    – half an ounce of liquid LSD (chem class)
    – 55 grams of marijuana (for california relatives)
    – 5 grams of hashish (for colorado relatives)
    – 60 Adderall pills (needed for next item)
    – a laptop computer (all night sessions of tetris)
    – two digital scales (weighing pizza dough for upcoming pizza party)
    – $400 in cash (hookers and blow)

    That is all.

  • RodneyA

    Why are so many people here defending this idiot? He’s no victim. He knew exactly what he was doing. Clearly he’s no idiot since he got into Princeton. He knew that what he was doing was illegal and he made a conscious decision to flaunt the laws of the community he chose to live in. If he wanted to live in a society where drugs are legal, let him move to Amsterdam. He lives here and must abide by our laws. Maybe he just didn’t think he’d get caught, which is too friggen bad, because he did get caught. I say too bad for him. Now he lost out on a world class education. And for what? A few hundred bucks? In no way do I believe this was “personal use”. He’s a drug dealer who got busted. Have fun in prison.

  • GuestProvingAPoint

    The only ones with any “privilege” that should not be granted is the government. To claim this is going to clean up crime or fix the problems this nation (and world, for that matter) face in regards to drugs is ludicrous. Try economics 101, and take a close look at *any* government’s history with prohibition of any type of good that may be demanded. For some reason, to this user above, it only makes a difference if the “crime” being committed turns out to be a “KID with a pot cookie from a trip to Colo.”
    Bravo, ruthenium66, bravo. Now don’t go putting any substances in your body unless good ol’ Uncle Sam gave you the okay.

  • WastedTaxDollars

    What we need is just as Thomas Jefferson put it in his inaugural address in 1801: “[a] wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free in their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” Instead, its obvious with articles like this that those in power and unfortunately some amongst us have forgotten the danger to freedom when a government becomes too strong.

  • Drugwarhasfailed

    In other words, you have a very strange perception of what should be considered “criminal,” especially in regards to drugs, economics, and the rights one has over their own body. The lack of acknowledgement that this is another human now enslaved by the “system” that quite literally calls the shots on what we do to or with our own bodies.
    In the mean-time, lets talk about gay rights, huh? They’re swell.

  • Drugwarhasfailed

    Its disgusting because if these tactics were applied nationwide our prisons and courts wouldn’t even be able to support (feed) all the slaves we create.

  • Drugwarhasfailed

    Oh, because every drug user makes the drugs themselves, right? How absurd to think in terms of economics.

  • t

    If he had 2 digital scales and such a variety, he was distributing for profit, not just for his own personal use.

  • DNM

    If we don’t abide by your moral compass. Does that make us any less respectable?

  • Mr. Pigden-Cadbury

    What I find interesting is the number of government entities which assisted in the operation.
    I don’t understand the vitriolic comments. I also have sympathy for the kid and especially for his family, but it’s on the kid, not the reporter.

  • xavier

    damn, son.

  • Law-abiding-citizen

    I’m sorry, I think you must be confused. Let me just clarify: You want us to “show some respect” for this young man?

  • ruthenium66

    He’s 20, an adult, with 13 counts against him. Has no right to be anonymous in the press. We protect kids and victims — he is neither. Maybe a reminder that privilege doesn’t put you above the law and that our town isn’t immune to crime. He’s not a kid with a pot cookie from a trip to Colo.

  • BB

    What makes this disgusting? Pictures and names of criminals are posted every day.

  • N

    Disgusting that this article was even written. What’s the point? Why is this news to anyone? Show some respect for a kid, his family, and the notion of privacy. Just because Princeton is your alma mater does not mean you have the right to publicize anything you feel like simply because it has to do with the school. These are real human beings you’re writing about, and this is a blatantly indecent, pathetic attempt at garnering more clicks for this hilariously bad website. Go find a mirror and take a long, hard look.

  • JG

    Shameful that the article shows the picture and name of this kid. What is the real purpose?

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