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3 Wesleyan University Students Arraigned In Rash Of Molly Overdoses

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Three of four Wesleyan University students facing drug charges appeared in court Wednesday following their arrest in connection with the hospitalization of about a dozen students who authorities said took the party drug Molly.

Eric Lonergan, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Zachary Kramer, of Bethesda, Maryland; and Rama Agha Al Nakib, a Syrian citizen from Lutherville, Maryland were arraigned in Middletown Superior Court on charges including possessing a controlled substance, illegally obtaining or supplying drugs, selling a hallucinogen and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Bond was set at $50,000 for 22-year-old Lonergan and 20-year-old Agha Al Nakib. Kramer, 21, was freed after posting a $5,000 bond.

The fourth student arrested, Andrew Olson, of Atascadero, California, posted bond on Tuesday.

The university said 12 people -- 10 college students and two visitors -- needed medical treatment after taking the drug. Some of them had attended a rave Saturday night.

Two students listed in critical condition Sunday were airlifted for treatment in Hartford, 20 miles north of the campus in Middletown and remain hospitalized.

Arrest warrant affidavits released on Wednesday said one of the victims was found unresponsive with no vital signs and was revived by paramedics who used six defibrillator shocks and numerous chest compressions.

The drug, a refined and more powerful form of Ecstasy (MDMA), can drive up body temperature and cause liver, kidney or cardiovascular failure.

Wesleyan president Michael Roth said the university takes drug distribution allegations seriously and is cooperating with authorities.

Roth had sent a letter to people on campus asking for help: "If you are aware of people distributing these substances, please let someone know before more people are hurt," it said.

Lawyers for Lonergan, Kramer and Al Nakib said Wednesday that no Molly was found in their clients' rooms on campus.

But according to the affidavits, Al Nakib told police the "bad Molly'' came from Kramer.

Warrants for three show police believe the drug originated in the Washington, D.C., area.

Jennifer Zito, Kramer's lawyer, asked the public to reserve judgment.

"These are very, very bright students, who have bright futures ahead of them and we certainly don't want to make any judgments at this time,'' she said.

Prosecutors said authorities found numerous prescription drugs in Lonergan's room. They said police also found more than 600 Xanax capsules and $310 in cash in Al Nakib's room, and nearly 200 nitrous oxide canisters, a scale and marijuana in Kramer's room.

Witnesses told police all four students sold Molly on campus, according to the affidavits. One witness told police she bought a bag of white powder from Olson on Friday and began feeling sick after consuming it.

Authorities from various agencies were working to identify the different types of chemicals in the batch of Molly that caused the overdoses, Middletown Police Chief William McKenna said.

"This particular batch may have had a mixture of several kinds of designer drug chemicals, making the health risks unpredictable and treatment to combat the effects complex and problematic,'' he said.

None of the three students entered pleas and their cases were continued to March 3. Olson's case was also continued to March 3, and all four have been suspended from Wesleyan.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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