While enforcing the new lanyard policy, Tyler Junior College security officers recently arrested a man who, in the spring, was charged with dealing drugs on campus.
“We are identifying a whole lot of people who are not students and don’t have a lanyard,” said Randy Melton, Campus Safety Chief.
On Sept. 14, officers at TJC observed a man who was wandering around the Rogers Student Center without a lanyard. Minutes later, he was stopped in the faculty parking lot at the lower Genecov lot for not wearing a lanyard.
“He (at first) lied about his name and after discussion with the officers, we realized he was one of the six from the drug bust in the spring,” Melton said.
The man turned out to be 19-year-old Christopher O’Brien McGee of Tyler. Melton said McGee was taken into custody and charged by campus officers with failure to provide identification.
“He had four (outstanding arrest) warrants,” added Thomas Johnson, executive director of Campus Safety.
The outstanding arrest warrants from the Tyler Police Department included two for revocation of probation and two for delivery of drugs in a drug free zone, jail records show.
Melton said McGee’s parole officer told him that McGee remains in Smith County Jail facing all of his charges.
McGee, who is not a student, was one of six men arrested on March 19 during a drug bust.
The arrests concluded a two-month investigation in which undercover Tyler police officers working in cooperation with the campus administration made drug buys at TJC.
At the time, Tyler Police Department public information officer Don Martin told The Apache Pow Wow, that all the suspects were selling a combination of marijuana, hydrocodone and other pills on campus.
As a result of the investigation, McGee was charged with delivery of a simulated controlled substance, delivery of marijuana, possession of controlled substances in a drug free zone and theft, according to Smith County judicial records.
McGee was released from the Smith County Jail on July 30, records show.
According to Chief Melton, this is the second person found on campus this semester who was charged in the undercover drug bust on campus last spring.
“This is really good to hear. Police are doing what they are supposed to do and that just keeps our campus clean and safe like it is supposed to be,” said Abraham Lopez, sophomore.
Johnson said Campus Safety would continue to be pro-active in efforts to remove drugs from campus.
“We will randomly bring drug dogs to campus like we did this week from the Tyler Police Department,” Johnson said. “Students and administration will not know about it (in advance). In fact the only ones knowing will be Chief Melton and I. We will have dogs in dorms and around campus.”
“This is part of our ongoing efforts, providing a safe, crime-free and drug-free environment,”added Melton.
Sophomore Danny Monge said he was glad Campus Safety is taking a get-though stance against people who don’t belong on campus.
“This is so good for our community,” Monge said. “I believe that criminals who are guilty should be punished and be put behind bars.”
Melton said, “We are identifying a whole lot of people who are not students and don’t have a lanyard.”
Students are required to wear their lanyards as a school policy. Failure to do so means students must get a free day pass that will be handed at the Campus Safety office, which will be given only the first time the student fails to present a lanyard. The second time a student is found without a lanyard could result in suspension.