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Drugs discovered at UNH dorm fire spark police probe

Authorities at the University of New Hampshire have launched a drug crime investigation in the wake of a minor fire in a dormitory room.

Officials say the blaze in the Richardson House late Sunday triggered a quick response and was put out by a resident even before firefighters arrived. When UNH police got to the scene, they claim to have discovered a variety of drug-related items. Officers say there was marijuana at the site, some volatile solvents and glassware.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case as yet, but UNH police say they are just in the early stages of the investigation.

There are a lot of elements of the story as it appears in the media that prompt questions from a legal perspective. 

For one thing, the mention of volatile solvents and glassware supposedly being found in the room seems to suggest some apparent link to drugs. But common household cleaners can be volatile solvents and glassware could mean a drinking glass was brought back from a cafeteria.

Also, a spokesperson for the school says that a student who might somehow be linked to the single-person room no longer lives on the campus. So, a legitimate question might be whether the room was being used by some unknown individual who had no business even being there. If so, who was it?

The fire itself was very small. Fire officials say it started accidentally in a small pile of someone's personal belongings. There's no word about how. No one was displaced as a result of the fire.

While no one has been arrested or charged in this case so far, it seems likely that police intend to make efforts to do so. Anyone facing drug charges should not attempt to deal with them without the help of legal counsel.

Source: Fosters.com, "Drugs found during UNH dorm fire probe," Casey Conley, March 18, 2014

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