December 19, 2010

Student Arrested After Drug Bust Yields Estimated $150K in Heroin

Print More

A version of this story was originally published on The Sun’s website on Dec. 20.

A Cornell student was arrested along the 500 block of Stewart Avenue Dec. 19 for criminal possession of a “substantial quantity” of heroin, the Ithaca Police Department said.

Keri Blakinger ’11 was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A-II felony.

Ithaca Police said they were called to the 500 block of Stewart Avenue on Dec. 19 in response to a report of a suspicious person. When they arrived at the scene, near the Hillside Inn, they identified that individual as 26-year-old Blakinger.

Witnesses told police Blakinger was behaving nervously and possessed a plastic container, which she pushed under a nearby car when a police officer approached her. Further investigation by police revealed the container held almost 6 ounces of heroin, according to court documents.

In a press release, Ithaca Police estimated the heroin’s value at between $50,000 and $150,000. An earlier version of the statement, released Dec. 19 and widely reported in national media, put the drug’s value at about $150,000.

Police said this was an unusually large heroin seizure.

“The preliminary weight of the heroin indicates it may be the second largest seizure of the drug by the Ithaca Police Department since September of 2008,” Deputy Ithaca Police Chief John Barber told The Ithaca Journal.

Blakinger was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and was remanded to the Tompkins County Jail without bail, according to the statement. The case will soon be heard by a grand jury.

Court papers said that Blakinger admitted in a videotaped interview that the heroin was hers and made “several other admissions regarding the possession and/or distribution of said heroin.”

Blakinger is a former Sun staff writer. She also previously served as editor of Red Letter Daze and features editor.

Original Author: Sun Staff