Two UI students arrested in cannabis case

Two UI students arrested in cannabis case

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois police Tuesday arrested two UI students for allegedly possessing cannabis intended for sale.

UI police Sgt. Tom Geis said the department's narcotics unit had a search warrant for the apartment in the 500 block of East Stoughton Street, Champaign, where Matthew J. Battaglia, 22, and Benjamin W. Joseph, 21, were living.

They went to the apartment about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and found about 5 ounces of cannabis in the living room, another 1 1/4 pounds of cannabis in the kitchen, and a glass pan of brownies containing suspected cannabis inside the refrigerator.

They also found a total of $1,230 cash on Joseph and in his bedroom. Mixed in with that cash was marked money that UI police had used to buy drugs from the men on prior occasions.

Police also found two ledgers that appeared to be lists of drug customers in a dresser drawer in Joseph's bedroom, Geis said.

In Battaglia's bedroom, police found dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic drug. Police also found evidence that the men were attempting to grow hallucinogenic mushrooms, Geis said.

Geis said Joseph told police that he and Battaglia were selling the drugs together.

The pair was charged Wednesday with possession with intent to deliver between 500 and 2,000 grams of cannabis, a Class 2 felony.

Judge Richard Klaus set bond for each of the men at $25,000 and told them to be back in court March 6 with their own attorneys.


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