FSU Student Charged with Manufacturing DMT Appears in Court
On March 2, 2015, Michael Lewis Baxter, an 18-year-old Frostburg State University freshman was arrested by members of the C3I Narcotics Task Force in his Edgewood Commons apartment for the act of cooking an illegal hallucinogen.
He is charged with three felonies, possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) with intent to distribute, manufacture of CDS, and the possession of CDS production equipment, and one misdemeanor, CDS possession – not marijuana.
On Thursday, April 2, Baxter appeared in front of District Administrative Judge Edward Malloy Jr. at the Allegany County District Court of Maryland located in Cumberland for a preliminary hearing. At the hearing, Judge Malloy determined that based on the testimony of Baxter’s arresting officer, Sergeant Wade Sibley of the C3I Narcotics Task Force, the standard for probable cause had been met in regards to Baxter’s three felonies. This means that Baxter’s case will now be forwarded to circuit court where he will appear in a jury trial.
The prosecutor’s office has until May 4 to file the necessary paperwork in order to continue to pursue the felony charges in circuit court; this is known as the felony dismissal date.
According to Sergeant Sibley’s testimony, in the apartment, officers found a total of 357 grams of Dimethyltryptamine, a very powerful hallucinogen also known as DMT, in Baxter’s freezer, in its liquid form and final stage of production, and 6.2 grams of synthesized DMT in a vial on Baxter’s person. The weight also includes the weight of the vial the drug was being contained in.
Information provided on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search shows that the student spent the night in jail and was released the following day after posting bond.
Baxter also had three roommates who were not charged. Sergeant Sibley said in his testimony on Thursday that the roommates claimed they never took DMT, but they were aware that Baxter was cooking it. “The chemical smell was very harsh throughout the apartment,” said Sergeant Sibley under oath.
Sergeant Sibley also said in court that he was contacted anonymously by students at Frostburg State who claimed Baxter had been selling the DMT on campus.
For privacy reasons, Deborah Daniels, the Director of Residential Programs, would not release their identities. Daniels stated this to The Bottom Line in regards to the indecent:
“During a routine health and safety inspection, Edgewood Commons staff discovered what appeared to be drug paraphernalia. University Police were contacted and responded to the scene. University Police and other law enforcement officials took the necessary steps to investigate and render the area safe.”
According to several unofficial, forum-based websites, a gram of DMT has a street value of $60-100, depending on the potency. Based on this, if sold at the premium rate, C3I effectively seized over $35,000 of DMT from the apartment. In a 2013 Fox 8 article, investigators involved in busting a DMT lab in Guilford County said that the price of DMT was similar to cocaine.
More information on this case, including details from Sergeant Sibley’s written report, can be found in a March 9 Bottom Line article.