crimesider

US prosecutors announce charges over Wesleyan Univ. overdoses

22-year-old Eric Lonergan (inset left) and 21-year-old Zachary Kramer (inset right); Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.


MIddletown Police/CBS afiliate WFSB

Last Updated May 22, 2015 1:57 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Two people have been indicted on federal charges alleging they distributed party drugs at Wesleyan University that sent 11 people to hospitals in February.

The defendants were among five Wesleyan students arrested on state charges in connection with the on-campus drug overdoses.

The federal indictment of 21-year-old Zachary Kramer of Bethesda, Md., and 22-year-old Eric Lonergan of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was announced by prosecutors on Friday. They are charged with distributing controlled substances.

"Our hope is that this prosecution puts to bed the misperception that synthetic drugs are harmless party drugs," said U.S. Attorney Deidre M. Daly, CBS affiliate WFSB reported. "As the allegations in this indictment clearly show, these drugs are highly dangerous."

Officials said one of the people sickened by the drugs in February nearly died, the station reported.

An attorney for Kramer said she could not immediately comment. An attorney for Lonergan could not immediately be reached.

Two students had been airlifted to a hospital and nearly died earlier this year. Authorities say the drug was presented as Molly, a popular name for the euphoria-inducing stimulant MDMA, but was likely cut with other drugs.