A Columbia University student, arrested for on drug charges last year, will spend his hard-time in a drug-abuse treatment facility instead of going to jail.
Christopher Coles, 21, was one of five students arrested during Operation Ivy League, a drug bust targeting Columbia students. Judge Ellen Coin allowed a deal for Coles to serve his time out of prison.
Coin rejected prosecutors objections to allowing Cole into the treatment program, which she supervises. Marc Agnifilo, Cole's lawyer, argued for treatment options before his arrest, claiming he was addicted to marijuana and needed to deal drugs to maintain his habit.
I think he was high most of his waking hours, said Agnifilo according to the New York Post. However, prosecutors contend that his drug habit had nothing to do with his dealing.
There's no indication that his smoking marijuana was a contributing factor to his seven marijuana sales, prosecutor Catherine Christian said Tuesday, according to DNAinfo.com.
Under the program, Cole will spend his time in a court-monitored facility. His felony charges will be dismissed. Two of the other four students arrested have pleaded guilty and the two others are waiting their verdict.