A Columbia University student accused of participating in a drug ring at the Ivy League college pleaded guilty on Tuesday to selling cocaine.
The student, Harrison David, will serve six months in prison on New York’s Rikers Island and face five years of probation.
The plea marked the latest chapter in a series of events that began when the NYPD began investigating the matter in August 2010, dubbing the inquiry "Operation Ivy League."
To pin down the drug charges, the police made nearly $11,000 in purchases of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, Adderall, and LSD from five suspected students, including Harrison. Charges are still pending against the other four men allegedly involved in the ring.
Matthew Myers, David's lawyer, told the New York Times on Tuesday that his client was sorry for his actions.
"He has huge regrets about it," Myers said. "I think he is taking responsibility for it. He is not being combative. He’s not disgruntled about the results."
At Columbia, David was an engineering major, and he had aspirations to become a rocket scientist, according to a profile in New York magazine. He grew up in the Boston suburbs, where he played tennis in high school and gave a graduation speech as the class salutatorian.
Myers said that David's guilty plea was a "fair resolution." He added, "You’re talking about a brilliant kid.”