4

FIU's Pi Kappa Alpha Frat Boys Won't Face Criminal Charges Over Facebook Posts Depicting Drug Dealing, Hazing, and Nudie Pics

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

See also: FIU's Pi Kappa Alpha Frat Suspended Over Facebook Posts About Drug Dealing, Hazing, and Creep Shots

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.

"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."

Follow Michael E. Miller on Twitter.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.