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'Operation Equinox' Drug Convict Returns To UVA

Jamie Graham shows off a t-shirt his fraternity made in the wake of Operation Equinox.

One of the students imprisoned by Operation Equinox, an early 1990s drug bust, came back to the University of Virginia Thursday (3/17). After spending nearly a year in prison for a $5 drug deal, Jamie Graham became a warrior for decriminalization. “I’m glad to see there are groups working on this here at UVA.”

Professor Jim Lark remembers 1991 when Graham was one of a dozen students indicted as federal officials seized three fraternity houses. “The lead news story on NBC’s national news was Operation Equinox, University of Virginia.”

Third-year student Anousheh Bakhti-Suroosh helped sponsor Graham’s 25th anniversary speech. “His life was derailed from five dollars worth of something.”

The officer who wrote the warrants, Chip Harding, is now the sheriff of Albemarle County. “I know cases like that are not where I want to spend my tax dollar, and from a human standpoint, looking back on it, I feel terrible for him and what happened to him.”