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Naked man on Fall Island was first clue in Potsdam LSD case

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POTSDAM — The apprehension of a naked man early Sunday on Fall Island was the first in a series of events that would land three Clarkson University students in the hospital and a fourth in jail for selling LSD to his classmates, village police said.

Clarkson senior Kane W. Henderson, 22, of West Linn, Ore., has been charged with fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Additional charges are pending the results of lab tests.

Three other students who consumed the hallucinogenic substance were hospitalized following “bizarre and aggressive behavior,” police Chief Kevin A. Bates said, with one held overnight in the Canton-Potsdam Hospital emergency room and the other two transferred to the hospital’s Critical Care Unit.

Their names were not released, and information on their conditions was not immediately available Tuesday, the chief said. Charges against the three were pending further investigation, but the chief said at least two of the students had recovered sufficiently to cooperate with police in the probe that pointed investigators toward Mr. Henderson as the source of the drugs.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen LSD,” Chief Bates said. “It is not as prevalent as marijuana, cocaine or heroin, but it comes and goes in waves.”

Officers were on patrol about 12:50 a.m. Sunday when they “observed a naked male engaged in disorderly conduct” on Fall Island and approached the man. While initially cooperative, he became combative later at the police station, Chief Bates said. That led officers to suspect he may have been under the influence of a mind-altering substance, and the man was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police records, officers were dispatched to a Clarkson dormitory “for students who may have overdosed and (were) behaving in a violent manner.”

Chief Bates said no officers were injured in any of the incidents, while the transfer of two patients to the critical care unit may have been done so they could be monitored more closely and restrained, if needed, to prevent injury to themselves or others.

A search warrant was executed on a Bay Street address, where Mr. Henderson was arrested. A search there led to the seizure of LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, prescription drugs and marijuana. Also seized were items of drug paraphernalia, drug packaging and processing materials, and about $3,000 in cash believed to be the proceeds of drug sales, the chief said.

Police said they believe Mr. Henderson sold LSD to the students over the weekend, and based on the cash and drugs they recovered, it is believed he had been dealing for some time, Chief Bates said.

“He hasn’t been very cooperative,” the chief said.

Mr. Henderson was arraigned before Village Justice Nicholas J. Pignone about 3 a.m. Tuesday and sent to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, in lieu of $2,500 bail or $5,000 bond.

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