Despite scores of scandalous Facebook posts depicting rampant drug dealing, hazing, and creep shots of allegedly underage women, members of Florida International University's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will not face any criminal charges.
Pi Kappa Alpha frat brothers -- or Pikes, as they are known -- have apparently closed ranks, refusing to snitch on one another and leaving campus police with no hard evidence.
"We need more than just Facebook postings to get us to the level of making an arrest," said assistant FIU Police Chief Ben Guerrero.
Guerrero said his department launched a serious investigation, interviewing more than 30 people directly or indirectly tied to the Facebook posts.
Some Pikes hired lawyers and refused to talk to cops, however. Meanwhile, those who did cooperate also closed ranks around the fraternity.
"Based on our investigation, we could not find any probable cause that rose to the level where we could make an arrest of anybody for any criminal violations," Guerrero said. Cops simply could not make a drug, hazing, or nudie-pic case stick.
"If someone made postings about drugs, we need to be able to corroborate, number one, if anyone actually bought drugs from that individual," Guerrero said. "It's either that or the person themselves gives us a confession that 'Yeah, I sold drugs,' which we never found."
Guerrero also said that when his department learned of the allegations, it was too late to conduct a sting.
"By the time we received the information to initiate our investigation, most of the individuals who had put up the Facebook postings were aware that the university was looking into them," he said. "So we weren't able to do any undercover investigation, any undercover buys. It would have been frivolous to start conducting an investigation that way."
Many of the Facebook posts involved selling Adderall, but frat brothers claimed to have legal prescriptions. "Even illegal underage drinking was again very difficult to prove," Guerrero said.
The cop added that criminal charges would have been even harder to file over the alleged hazing caught in the leaked Facebook posts.
"Everyone interviewed denied hazing. They either said that it was posted as a joke or [exagerrated]," Guerrero said. "It appeared that way [on Facebook], but there was no firsthand knowledge that anybody gave us that anybody was hazed. We never found anyone that came forward who was a victim of hazing, so we had nothing to prove that anybody was involved in hazing."
Even the nudie photos of allegedly underage women weren't enough for cops to make an arrest against a single Pi Kappa Alpha brother.
"We did interview several of the women that we could identify," Guerrero said. "We tracked a couple down, and they said that they didn't make any allegations that those pictures were of them while they were underage, and they didn't want to pursue anything criminally as far as the postings."
Guerrero did say, however, that his investigation has been forwarded to FIU administrators and that individual Pikes could still face academic discipline, including expulsion for violating codes of student conduct.
An FIU spokeswoman did not respond to nearly a dozen requests for comment on whether the university has punished any Pikes or whether the school is taking the scandal seriously.
The university did announce in August that it was suspending the fraternity over the Facebook posts. Pi Kappa Alpha's national headquarters also suspended its FIU chapter because of the incident.
Guerrero added that cases such as Pike-gate are few and far between at FIU.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"It's not very common, because obviously people aren't out there on a regular basis putting out Facebook postings that tend to incriminate them," he said. "It usually doesn't come to our attention that way. Most people are more careful."