Semester-Long Drug Op Busts So. Cal High School Students | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Semester-Long Drug Op Busts So. Cal High School Students

Despite being around for decades, the policy of cops posing as high school students has remained controversial.


Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

Two Southern California narcotics officers who posed as high school students for an entire semester busted 25 students for possession of and selling drugs. Twenty-two arrest warrants were served last week on the campuses of Paloma Valley and Perris High School, while three suspects weren’t in school that day and are still at large. Two of the 22 students arrested, Serina Ramirez and Erick De La Cruz, were adults and booked into a local detention center; the remaining minors were booked into juvenile hall.

Although most of the drug buys were for small amounts of marijuana, deputies also seized drugs including crack cocaine, meth and various prescription pills. The sheriff’s department had approached the school district last year to propose the undercover operation, which was quickly approved. “This is a very well-researched program. The people in it are all professionals,” said Jonathan Greenberg, superintendent of the Perris Union High School District. “It was a question of what we could do to assist them.”

Although cops posing as high school students has been around for decades within California schools, the program has met with controversy. The LAPD discontinued their program in 2005 after police typically only found small amounts of pot and were increasingly arresting students in special education programs. A lawsuit was also filed last year against the Temecula Valley Unified School District after a special needs student with autism was arrested in the drug busts.

Lt. Paul Bennett, who oversaw the Paloma and Perris drug busts, said the officers involved received additional training about special needs students and how to avoid entrapment, ensuring that all of those arrested this time were “mainstream students” in general education classes. He also planned to move forward with plans to bring drug-sniffing dogs to campuses in the future.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv