Four ECU fraternity members arrested with 2,500 Xanax bars after investigation

Left to right: Grant Swanner, Nolan Leonard and Jordan Kowalski. Not pictured: William Carter (Vinelink photos)

Four members of the East Carolina University fraternity Phi Kappa Tau were arrested on drug charges after a lengthy investigation by the Greenville Regional Drug Task Force.

On Tuesday, a search warrant was issued at the fraternity, located at 409 Elizabeth Street. The search warrant was issued after a three-week investigation, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 Xanax bars from the residence. Two shotguns were also seized and marijuana was found to have been sold from there.

The fraternity has since been suspended by ECU until further notice.

Arrested and charged were:

Grant Swanner, 20

• Three counts, possession with intent to sell and/or distribute schedule IV drug

• Three counts, maintaining dwelling

• Possession of alcohol underage

• Possession of drug paraphernalia

Nolan Leonard, 19

• Three counts, possession with intent to sell and/or distribute schedule IV drug

• Maintain dwelling

• Possession of up up to 1/2 oz of marijuana

• Possession of drug paraphernalia

A Greenville Regional Drug Task Force investigation has resulted in the seizure of a large quantity of illegal narcotics.

Jordan Kowalski, 20

• Possession with intent to sell and/or deliver marijuana

• Maintain Dwelling

William Carter, 20

• Possession of drug paraphernalia

• Possession of alcohol under 21

The Greenville Regional Drug Task Force is comprised of Law Enforcement Officers from the East Carolina University Police Department, Greenville Police Department, Winterville Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and The Drug Enforcement Administration.

ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Virginia Hardy released a statement Wednesday evening:

“In recent years, Greek organizations have been under scrutiny across the country based on the types of behavior and unlawful activity taken part by some members. We are working diligently to change the culture of Greek Life at East Carolina University.
“Student Affairs works closely with our undergraduate chapters to encourage them to emphasize the positive principles of service, philanthropy, academics and leadership these organizations were founded upon.
“The university works closely with the Greek organizations’ national offices and community partners like Greenville Police to hold those accountable who are breaking the law, violating the student code of conduct or potentially putting themselves or others at risk.
“It is disappointing that some groups or individuals do not see the value in improving the positive footprint their organizations can and do have on young men and women and in our community. Many of our Greek organizations are following their chapter’s principles. However, ECU, along with the national organization, is committed to holding these individuals and groups accountable. It is imperative that we continue to work swiftly when we learn of violations and continue to be proactive in educating and training our students involved in fraternity and sorority life,” said Hardy.
ECU is taking a comprehensive, data-driven approach to addressing critical issues and building a strong fraternity and sorority community. This approach includes ongoing and future efforts in risk prevention, education and training, accountability and partnerships.
ECU has worked with Dyad Strategies, a higher education research and consulting group that focuses on fraternity and sorority operations and risk prevention, to perform assessments and provide direct consultation with our individual chapters.
“Based upon our assessment and work with ECU’s staff and students, it is clear ECU has developed and implemented an approach grounded in best practices. The key will be consistently applying those practices over the long-term,” said Dr. Gentry McCreary, CEO of Dyad Strategies.

Current and ongoing initiatives with ECU Greek Life

Risk prevention along with education and training are the core of our efforts to change culture. Educating and empowering students to build a stronger community and reduce risky behaviors are the key to addressing current issues facing ECU and institutions across the nation. Each of these items is currently in operation and will continue moving forward.

Risk Prevention

· Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) harm reduction education for student organizations. Spring 2018 pilot.

· Risk Management Training Sessions – Training for all fraternity/sorority chapter leaders each semester on policy, procedures and expectations.

· Greenville Police meetings with individual chapters and fraternity/sorority members living off-campus.

· Generation Rx (pilot) – Testing curriculum provided by Zeta Tau Alpha national organization focusing on drug use/prevention.

Education and Training

· Greek Leaders Training – Leadership training roundtables for all chapter presidents and council officers each semester.

· National Hazing Prevention Week (September) – Annual programming including a keynote speaker (Tracy Maxwell) hosted in September 2018 and other educational outreach to chapters.

· Mental Health Awareness Speaker (Vince Fabra) hosted in January 2018.

· Motivating Leaders Speaker (TJ Sullivan) hosted in March 2018.


· Launched new organizational conduct process for all student organizations in Fall 2017.

· Assistant Director of Greek Life assigned as direct liaison to OSRR working with fraternity/sorority conduct cases and joint programming.

· Direct support for national fraternity/sorority accountability actions including simultaneous probations or suspensions.

· Direct communication with individual students and parents in the event of a chapter closure.

· Focus on identifying and separating individual student behavior from organizational conduct.


· Chapter presidents meetings – Regular meetings with chapter presidents and Greek Life staff including guest speakers from ECU PD, Greenville PD, Office of Equity and Diversity, ECU Cares.

· Greek Leaders Lunches with the vice chancellor and associate vice chancellor to provide student leaders with feedback opportunities.

· Dyad Strategies – Ongoing assessment, consulting, and campus visits addressing hazing and campus culture. This started relationship started with visit from a nationally known expert in spring 2017; spring 2018 and with additional sessions in fall 2018.

· Direct communication and partnership with chapter advisors including weekly email communication, advisor roundtables, and chapter-by-chapter communication as needed.

· Direct communication with national fraternity and sorority headquarters including weekly email communication and regular outreach regarding chapter status and reports Greenville Police.

· Collaboration with ECU Cares in the event of chapter closures, membership suspensions, or students removed from chapter housing facilities.

· Weekly meetings between Greek Life and OSRR staff to address fraternity/sorority conduct and develop strategy.

Future Initiatives

In addition to the current and ongoing efforts listed above, ECU has been developing several new initiatives that will come online in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Risk Prevention

· Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) required for all fraternities, sororities and club sports teams annually.

· Dyad Strategies campus visit with Panhellenic sororities focusing on building stronger organizations (August 2018)

· Enhanced Risk Management Training for student leaders around policy and risk prevention

Education and Training

· Emerging Leaders Retreat – Launching Fall 2018. Training for aspiring fraternity and sorority leaders

· Enhanced Officer Training – Launching Fall 2018. Officer-specific training for fraternity and sorority leaders

· Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute – Sending four students to national leadership institute in Summer 2018


· Outreach to general fraternity/sorority membership about policy and expectations


· New communication outreach to all fraternity/sorority members through e-newsletter

· Expanded use of Parent Services network to communicate with ECU parents and families about Greek Life

· Expanded advisor roundtables both in-person and individually

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