Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 6:25 pm | Fair 69º

 
 
 
 

Local News

SLO Fraternity Member Arrested on Suspicion of Drug Sales Related to Attempted Robbery

The former chapter president of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity in San Luis Obispo has been arrested after police allegedly discovered marijuana at the house in the wake of an attempted armed robbery there last month.

On Thursday morning, officers served a search warrant at the fraternity house and found Gear McMillan, 22, of San Luis Obispo allegedly in possession of an undisclosed amount of marijuana.

On Aug. 10, five Cal Poly football players were arrested on suspicion of attempting to rob the home and are now facing felony conspiracy charges, among other accusations.

Investigators believe someone at the house in the 200 block of California Boulevard may have been selling marijuana, which served as a possible motive for the attempted robbery.

McMillan served as president until May and was an active member of the fraternity until his membership was suspended by Delta Sigma Phi’s national organization on Thursday, pending an internal investigation.

McMillan was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sales and possession of a controlled substance in the form of nonprescription medication.

As of Thursday evening, McMillan remained in County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

San Luis Obispo police Capt. Keith Storton on Thursday declined to release the amount of marijuana discovered but attributed the timing of the search, nearly a month after the attempted robbery, to the need to gather enough evidence to secure the search warrant.

A day after the robbery, McMillan told The Tribune that there were no drugs at the residence and disputed the implication that drugs were the motive behind the attempted robbery.

“It’s a shame because we were the ones who were held up at gunpoint; we were the ones in danger,” McMillan said on Aug. 11. “And the idea that this was somehow about drugs is shedding a negative light on us in the community. If anyone in our house was doing anything like that, we would all know."

Delta Sigma Phi “will fully cooperate with authorities throughout the course of the investigation while we conduct an internal inquiry,” said Patrick Jessee, Delta Sigma Phi’s executive director and chief executive officer of the Indiana-based national organization, in a statement.

Jessee went on to say: “These allegations do not reflect actions congruent with Delta Sigma Phi values or the fraternity’s Code of Conduct. We will work to ensure all chapter members understand our policies; state, local and federal laws; and the importance of being positive contributors to the San Luis Obispo community.”

Following the search of the house, San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell issued the following statement: “Today’s search warrant and subsequent arrest goes beyond the sale of marijuana. Drugs were a variable that precipitated an armed robbery attempt that put multiple lives at significant risk and resulted in the injury of our officers, officers that were willing to risk their own lives to protect the residents of this fraternity. For some of those very same people to deny culpability and brazenly continue to ‘do business’ without recognition of this fact is disturbing. We hope the real consequences levied today will ultimately have a positive impact in the lives of others.”

After the announcement of McMillan’s arrest, Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said the university is cooperating with police in the ongoing investigation.

“There is no place for illegal activity at Cal Poly. We will take all necessary action to ensure student safety, well-being and success in the classroom and beyond,” Lazier wrote in an email. “All student conduct violations will be met with appropriate disciplinary action.”

Lazier said that, in light of one arrest of a Delta Sigma Phi member, the university currently isn’t sanctioning the fraternity chapter.

“Should the police investigation reveal any additional info, the university will re-examine that information and determine whether any additional steps need to be taken,” Lazier said.

Bob “Ace” Veazie, president of the Alumni Corporation Board, which owns and operates the San Luis Obispo Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house, said Thursday that McMillan, a Cal Poly nutrition major, has been one of the better leaders at the house and has participated in multiple service projects to benefit the community.

“Nobody knows whether he is innocent or guilty of these charges,” Veazie said. “I will be talking with the national fraternity to determine the protocol for this, but he is our brother, and we stand behind our brother.”

Veazie said he spends a lot of time at the house and was not aware of any problems there. “All we know is that he was arrested,” he said.

He said the house had been falsely accused of problems five times in the last year.

Veazie praised McMillan’s leadership at the fraternity, saying he led a campaign to raise more than $8,000 for Aware Awake Alive — an alcohol awareness campaign started by the parents of student Carson Starkey after he died following a fraternity hazing event.

“It is surprising to have this happening to somebody that has been such a positive impact and force in our fraternity,” Veazie said. “There is something here I don’t understand.”

Members of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, contacted at the house on Thursday, declined comment, referring questions by telephone to the fraternity’s media relations representative, Connor “Bruce” Koch, a current Cal Poly student and fraternity member.

Koch released a statement, saying, “We as a brotherhood don’t condone or support any illegal activities nor do we have any knowledge of such activity. We will be cooperating fully with law enforcement officials to ensure that this matter is resolved in a fair and accurate way.”

All five Cal Poly football players suspected of roles in the attempted robbery have been arraigned in San Luis Obispo Superior Court but have yet to enter pleas.

They are scheduled to be back in court Sept. 15.

— Matt Fountain and Nick Wilson are staff writers at the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact them at [email protected] and [email protected]. Tribune staff reporter AnnMarie Cornejo contributed to this story.

Click here for more stories from the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >