MUNCIE, Ind. (December 4, 2015) - A Ball State student is suing the federal government and the university.
Bronson Westbrook, 24, was arrested in 2014 and charged with possession of marijuana. During that arrest, more than $14,000 in cash was confiscated. Police say that money was collected from selling drugs.
“As far as I know he’s a good guy and he comes over and cuts his mom’s yard,” said Westbrook’s neighbor Tino Edwards.
Neighbors in Westbrook’s south side Muncie neighborhood didn’t know him to be much of a trouble maker. A few blocks away though on March 2, 2014, Westbrook was involved in a car accident. Police say that’s when they found more than 24 grams of marijuana on him and more than $14,000 in cash-- some hidden under the driver’s seat.
“I’d never known him to have sold stuff like that. He never came and asked me about that or anything,” said Edwards.
The cash, Muncie Police turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Prosecutors say in court documents they believe it is drug money, collected from selling “pounds of high grade marijuana in the Muncie area.”
Fast forward a few months and the undergrad sued the university for suspending him following the arrest.
Westbrook is also suing the DEA in a separate lawsuit for collecting the $14,000, he claims he earned from working at Wendy’s and the Ball State Student Center. Money Westbrook says he was using to pay for school.
“Unless he was convicted, there should be no other institutions capitalizing on that,” said one Ball State undergrad.
Not yet convicted for the charges in his 2014 arrest, some students at Ball State felt his suspension was uncalled for.
“I don’t think a student should suffer for a crime they didn’t commit,” said another Ball State student.
A judge however did think so and dismissed Westbrook’s suit against Ball State.
On Halloween, Westbrook was arrested again during a traffic stop. Police say he was in possession of more marijuana and a stolen gun.
His lawsuit against the DEA is still pending.