HARTFORD, Conn. — A former Wesleyan University student who sold drugs involved in a series of on-campus overdoses was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on Thursday.
Eric Lonergan, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, appeared in federal court in Hartford. He pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the party drug MDMA, also known as Molly.
U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly has called Lonergan a “dorm-room chemist” who counseled Wesleyan students on how to ingest the drugs and put lives at risk.
Lonergan’s friend, Zachary Kramer, of Bethesda, Maryland, was sentenced to four months in prison in May for his role in the drug selling.
In February 2015, 10 Wesleyan students and another person were hospitalized after taking drugs they bought from Kramer, who had bought them from Lonergan, prosecutors said. One student had to be revived after his heart stopped, authorities said.
Several students also became ill at a party in September 2014 after taking drugs they bought from Lonergan, prosecutors said. Some of them required hospitalization.
Prosecutors said the students thought they were taking Molly, but the drugs actually contained a synthetic cannabinoid called AB Fubinaca. Synthetic cannabinoids have sickened people across the country.
Authorities said Lonergan began selling Molly on and around the Wesleyan campus in November 2013, charging $200 per gram. Prosecutors said Kramer began selling Molly to Wesleyan students in the summer of 2014, buying the drug from Lonergan.
Lonergan’s lawyers said he is a brilliant but fragile young man who engaged in foolish and reckless behavior and suffered from depression. They also said he is a kind person, and he takes full responsibility for his conduct.
Lonergan had asked the judge to spare him from prison.