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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
June 16, 2005

Drug Raid Nabs Grad Student Cooking
Methamphetamine on University Campus

JUN 15--Today, San Diego State University Police Chief John Carpenter and DEA Special Agent in Charge John S. Fernandes announced that members of the San Diego State University Police Department (SDSUPD) and DEA San Diego’s Clandestine Laboratory Group, working in cooperation with the United States Attorney’s Office, the DEA Southwest Regional Laboratory and the San Diego County Hazardous Materials Unit, brought a 8-month undercover investigation to a close.

The investigation targeted the activities of Matthew Finley, a graduate student enrolled at San Diego State University (SDSU), who is suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine and other powerful illegal drugs in the Chemical Sciences Laboratory on campus.

On June 15, 2005 the operation culminated in the arrest of Matthew Finley during the execution of a federal search warrant at his residence at 4576 Santa Monica, Ocean Beach, California. A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of fentanyl (a powerful and dangerous narcotic that is 80 times more powerful than morphine), methamphetamine and 3 marijuana plants.

The the building that houses the Chemical Sciences Laboratory at San Diego State University was also sealed off while Finley’s student station was searched and all unauthorized chemicals were seized and safely removed and stored. Also seized at the site were quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and MDMA.

A complaint is expected to be filed in District Court today.

SDSUPD Chief John Carpenter stated, “The university has strict policies with regard to the storage and use of chemicals in its scientific laboratories. In this case, the university uncovered unauthorized activity and initiated a joint investigation with the DEA and other law enforcement agencies. We are pleased with the cooperation that has resulted in today’s arrest”.

DEA SAC Fernandes said,”The disregard this individual displayed for the safety of other students is alarming. We, the DEA and the University Police Department, acted quickly and decisively once it was determined that the suspect was cooking methamphetamine on campus”.


  • Matthew FINLEY, 26 yoa

Summary of Charges

  • Manufacture of Methamphetamine, fentanyl, MDMA and P2P in violation of Title 21USC841(a)(1).

**NOTE**: B-roll footage and photos available upon request from the DEA

Points of Contact

Jason Foster
Director, Media Relations
San Diego State University

Special Agent Misha Piastro, PIO
DEA San Diego Field Division


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