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Police arrested nine current and former McIntosh College students on drug charges Tuesday after a raid on a Dover, N.H., college dormitory that the police chief called “an open-air drug market like we’ve never seen in the city.” Chief William Fenniman said police would push to close the dorm, where most of the suspects lived, under a federal law aimed at crack houses. “My idea is … to stop the building from being used for illicit activity,” Fenniman said. Tuesday’s raid at the college about 60 miles north of Boston followed a two-month undercover investigation by city police and the state attorney general’s Drug Task Force. The probe focused on students at McIntosh’s culinary school. Fenniman said police have responded to nearly 200 calls in the past year at the culinary school and dormitory and made 30 to 35 arrests on drug, sexual assault and other charges. Fenniman said he has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to use the federal crack house law to seize the dormitory. He said most of the undercover drug buys took place in the parking lot or at a gas station next door. Jean Weld, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, would not comment specifically on the request, but said prosecutors must prove a building owner ignored drug activity before any building can be seized. Fenniman acknowledged there are “legal hurdles” to a forfeiture, “but we think we can get over them.” The raid capped months of tension between the town and college over students’ behavior. President David McGuire said the college has already kicked some suspects out of school and would discipline the others. Some students said police used excessive force Tuesday. Reporters and news photographers were present before the raid started and students were thrown to the ground and arrested, they said. “Why do you need M-14s to arrest kids with weed?” asked 18-year-old Cecilia Self. But another student told Foster’s Daily Democrat, a Dover newspaper, that he approved of the arrests. Drug use at the school “makes me want to transfer,” Scott O’Connor said. The college has an enrollment of about 950. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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