Marijuana delivery leads to student arrest

Katherine Rojas

On Oct. 17, sophomore Nicholas DiNanno was arrested for possession of marijuana and other charges, after 1.5 pounds of the drug was delivered to DiNanno through his Quinnipiac mailbox.

Hamden Police and Qunnipiac’s Department of Public Safety seized the package delivered by the United States Postal Service last Wednesday around 3:30 p.m., addressed to DiNanno, Hamden police said. DiNanno was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The United States Postal Service may contact police departments or detectives if a package is suspicious of containing drugs or illegal items, such as possessing an odor of marijuana.

After further investigation, a search and seizure warrant was secured for DiNanno’s residence in Crescent residence hall on the York Hill Campus. Officers seized several items, including paraphernalia and a large amount of money. Police estimate the amount of marijuana seized would have a $15,000 value.

“The student was immediately suspended and removed from the university pending the outcome of the university’s student discipline process,” said Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs. “With the safety of all members of the university community being of paramount importance, the university will not tolerate drug dealing on any of its three campuses.”

DiNanno’s suitemates were in their room in Crescent when a Quinnipiac personnel came to the suite with a package, claiming that he had to sign for it since it was an unusually large one, according to his suitemates. However, “the package was the size of a large cereal box, with a distinct smell the moment it came into the room,” one of DiNanno’s suitemates said.

After DiNanno signed for the package, police detectives came into the suite with a warrant and opened the box, pulling out a bag wrapped in duct tape and filled with marijuana, his suitemate said.

Next the detectives questioned DiNanno who denied everything at first, but later admitted the package was intended for him. Then they searched the entire suite, including the other bedrooms.

DiNanno wasn’t originally assigned to live with his suitemates. He came as a replacement for one of their friends as classes began this semester.

“We really didn’t know him personally; I [can] count the number of conversations I’ve had with him on one hand,” one of his suitemates said. “He never caused any other trouble for us, though.”

Although DiNanno’s suitemates did not interact with him on a regular basis, they did notice his private behavior.

“On a personal note as his direct roommate, I can say that I never really knew before any of this happened. He came back to the room once or twice late at night smelling of weed, so I figured he was a smoker,” his roommate continued. “There were also a few times that people came and went from our room, staying to talk to him in private for only a few minutes. In retrospect, it’s a little obvious, I suppose.”

DiNanno was released after posting a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden.