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High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts

Deciding that drug dogs were no longer having the desired effect, the New Milford School District near Cincinnati has paid a private investigator $60,000. to go undercover at a high school to buy drugs and bust students.

Sixteen students were arrested last Friday, accused of drug trafficking, and reaction has ranged from kudos for the district's "courage" to cries of "entrapment."

The PI had been undercover since August.

The district of 6,300 students uses dogs for surprise searches, but students and parents kept telling administrators that drugs are not in the buildings because students had anticipated the dog searches.

"In reality, they (the dogs) had reached their full effect, but we hadn't gotten to the source," Frye said. "We were getting kids with minor possession, but we had not gotten to the heart of the matter: Who's dealing drugs to our school population?"

Even the principal wasn't told of the plan:

It was an investigation so secretive that not even the high school principal knew about it until last week, shortly before 16 students were arrested and taken away in handcuffs last Friday. A 17th person, a Milford High School graduate, was arrested Tuesday.

As for the results: The drugs purchased included "marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, Ecstasy and an anti-seizure prescription drug, Klonopin."

No cocaine? No heroin? No oxycontin or percodan? No cough syrup? No hash? No LSD? And for this they paid $60k and saddled 16 students with criminal charges?

[Link via CrimProfBlog.]

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    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 10:01:33 AM EST
    So whats next? Undercover agents looking for those students spreading sedition? While I think it wonderful the school board or whatever is looking for ways to keep kids off of dangerous chemicals like pot (snicker snicker), I find the presence of undercover agents disturbing. More conditioning I guess, get them used to being watched at a young age, and when the time comes, these students will think Big Brother is actually a pretty nice guy, just looking out for their own good...

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#2)
    by Pete Guither on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 10:14:11 AM EST
    Our drug czar sure liked it:
    Walters applauded creative approaches to teen drug abuse, like Milford High School's recent in-school drug bust, after putting an undercover agent in classes for seven months.


    I wish it were just pot that kids were dealing with. I've seen kids on all kinds of drugs. Some of them they ingest without a clue as to what they are taking. I had a girl keel over in one of my classes. She was on meth. She was hospitalized, arrested, let go, and then was put to work by her boyfriend, hooking for drugs. She was later murdered, at the ripe old age of 15. This was in a small town of 15,000, not a big metropolis.

    Someone has been watching 21 jump street reruns.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#5)
    by Joe Bob on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 12:22:23 PM EST
    I wonder about the appropriateness or legality of a school district and a private party collaborating on a drug sting operation. I would be curious to know how courts look at this sort of thing, which I think could be described as a form of vigilantism. While public schools are responsible for maintaining discipline among students when they're in school, they are not a law enforcement agency. If I were to personally hire a PI and solicit drug sales from my neighbors, could I then hand that evidence over to the police and expect them to act on it? Lastly, I have spent a fair amount of time in Cincinatti and I doubt that town has so much surplus school revenue that they couldn't have found a better use for $60,000. They have bigger problems.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 02:11:59 PM EST
    michelle, I don't believe you, please provide links. Joe Bob, my first thought was similar; I wonder how many more kids would have benefited if they had spent the $60k on afterschool programs, art and music courses ... etc.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#7)
    by cp on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 02:42:38 PM EST
    i'm with joe bob & sailor, provide corroborating evidence michelle. i note also, you failed to make mention of the existence of parents or legal guardians in this "15 year-old girl's" life. what, was she living on the street? 60k for a PI, from a school district? what numbnuts thought that was a great idea? were i a taxpayer in that district, i would be looking for someone's head on a silver, or any other type, platter. 60k indeed!

    I still don't know why it is a crime to sell drugs to an undercover cop. Why is this not considered entrapment?

    Too lazy to look up all the links (go to mapinc.org) but you'll find that some districts such as Los Angeles have had "narcs in schools" programs for quite some time. LA's goes back to 1984, but I think it may have finally run its course and may be on the way out. The tragic thing about these narc deals is that they really are entrapment. It's not that the cops are buying drugs that would otherwise be sold on school property. It's more like "cute 16 year old girl who's new to the school (cover story for 22 yo narc) repeatedly pesters nerdy 18 year old boy to sell her some pot or ecstacy. Six months of "undercover" and the whole "drug ring" is uncovered. Feh.

    Well yes, our schools are nothing but prisons, and not without bars, but in a Faith Based system you can get so much from the kid, like gang membership, at 10 years old, that will make bush happy, and think of 15 year olds in prison for life! and think of all the kids going into government with the gang membership deed in that kids mind for aztlan, that is what bush wants. oh the promise of high security in a really nice cell. Faith Based for christians that murder/rape faith based schools for muslims that like bombs and jews getting out of the way behind the wall of god...yes lets all hear it for PI Making really big Busts or deals for the big boys. "OH GOD"

    Teachers see a lot more of the "real world" than you parents would like to imagine. If you knew what happened at parties, you'd not let your kids go out at night unsupervised. You'd like to live in your clean little fantasies, but the truth is it's a dirty world out there. You can call me a liar, it won't change what happened.

    I can't provide links because in small towns these things often don't make it into newspapers, especially when they occur over the space of months and the murder occured out of the county. The girl's parents were divorced. The girl was murdered when her father took her out of the county and away from her mother's "custody" and she hooked up with drug dealers in Kern County. And these things happen all the time. The problem is in your white bread world you think it only happens in the movies and TV.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#13)
    by cp on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 05:43:55 PM EST
    my "white bread" world? my dear, you've no clue at all what you're blathering about. actually, the truth is slowly seeping out: the girl wasn't killed in school, she was with her father, in another county entirely. not calling you a liar michelle, merely asking for some confirmable facts: names, dates, locations. this is something that would have made at least the local newspaper, provide that newspaper's name. otherwise, it sounds like the proverbial urban legend.

    God forbid "It takes a Village..." Conveniently LEFT out of this dialogue is a little parental responsiblity...Leave it to the hand wringers to figure out the ills of a basic family unit.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#15)
    by Sailor on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 09:56:07 PM EST
    can't provide links because in small towns these things often don't make it into newspapers Now I know michelle is ... uhh .. prevaricating. In small towns every police, fire truck and ambulance run is big news. Aside from wire stories, marriages, births, deaths and the farm report there is not much else. A student 'keeling over' in class, hospitalized and arrested would have made headlines. Somehow no nexis/lexis search turns this up, nor does 'murder, 15, female, kern county.' Well, there were some hits, but they weren't the victims;-)

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#16)
    by roger on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 07:51:43 AM EST
    Did this happen in a school that teaches creationism? Abstinence? How to read? Well, at least they're not smoking pot!

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 09:49:35 AM EST
    Prohibition is the idiocy.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#20)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 10:11:49 AM EST
    patrick, language sir! You're right, the cases are exactly alike, except the size of the town is off by a factor of 3, the girl you linked to died of an overdose, her family isn't split and none of the counties match. I never contended these things didn't happen, I just doubted michelle's conveeenient account. None of which has anything to do with a school district wasting $60k on a pi entrapping kids. I don't think it is right when the cops do it, and it is especially wrong to give a private entity an economic incentive to entrap.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#21)
    by Patrick on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    Sailor, Died of an overdoese, but two people were charged and plead guilty....Hmmm, perhaps it wasn't 1st degree murder, but that's a legal distinction I wouldn't expect an ordinary citizen to know. The size of the town depends on which town you use. There were several counties and several cities involved. Her parents were separated if you read the news accounts. And Kings County and Kern County are right next to each other in California. So, like I said, Self indulgent, shallow and narrow minded. Pick your poison.
    I never contended these things didn't happen, I just doubted michelle's conveeenient account.
    Posted by: Sailor on April 10, 2005 03:11 PM michelle, I don't believe you, please provide links.
    Now I don't believe you, unless of course your using a version of the English language which I am unfamiliar with, you did say that this thing didn't happen. That's what a person means when they say, "I don't believe you." Be the bigger person and prove me wrong. Apologize to MIchelle for your comments. As for the rest of your comments, I doubt it rises to legal definition of entrapment, but I'm not there and I don't know all the nuances of the case to comment intelligently on it, as apparently you do and can. Either that or your not commenting intelligently. Which is it?

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#22)
    by brad on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 10:48:14 AM EST
    anyone know where i can sign up for this job. thats some good scratch for keeping kids from killing themselves.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 12:34:40 PM EST
    Brad, that sure is some "good scratch" to send a kid to prison to be raped or shanked over a bag of dope. As for me, I'll pass, I like sleeping at night.

    If parents won't do it, it will take the schools being creative.....way to go!!!! Sorry to all you libs for not being able to do what you want, when you want....some of us want our kids to be safe at schools and if you can't control your kid then let the schools do it!!

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 12:42:17 PM EST
    Keeping your kids safe is your job Fat Man, and I'd appreciate it if you kept your beloved drug spies out of my kid's learning enviroment.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#26)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 12:48:01 PM EST
    patrick, she said she couldn't provide links because it didn't make the papers. Yet I found your case carried in several papers. Must be a different case. Celena's stepfather says he sent the girl to live with her biological father in Hanford Guess it couldn't have been the alleged character in michelle's class: "the girl was murdered when her father took her out of the county and away from her mother's "custody". please provide links to them pleading guilty. I could be wrong, but let michelle provide links to prove it. anyone can use outcomes based research to reverse engineer such a case, but let's hear from michelle. Reread my post; I never stated that these things don't happen, I just think it didn't happen to michelle. You are correct in that I don't know whether it was legally entrapment. It will be interesting to see how this case comes out and I bet there will be associated civil cases. what is your opinion on whether the school could have spent $60k better?

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    Thinking back to when I was in school, if a new kid transferred in and asked where he could score some grass or something, I'd personally feel obligated to help the new kid get acclimated and point him in the right direction. I'd call it being a nice guy. Smells like entrapment to me, time will tell.

    sailor kinda leaning toward that "ubran legend" scenario, with its continued embellishments and exaggerations. no doubt patrick this type of stuff happens, but the legends take a real story, your link, and embellish and exaggerate it beyond recognition, you know this. Itís that ondcp/terrorist misdirection/fear mongering thingy. michelle was trolling and was vetted to insignificance, no apology necessary.

    Patrick at April 11, 2005 10:24 AM
    your true colors come shinning through.

    I don't have a problem with it. It is against the law. If the kids were being abused wouldn't that be investigated? I've had former classmates (I graduated high school years ago) die from overdoses and AIDs, because of drugs. Drugs were all fun and games to them then, but now they are dead.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#31)
    by Patrick on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 03:38:52 PM EST
    Anon, And I've seen nothing from you or anyone else to dispell my beliefs. You've been relegated to insignficance with the rest of your cowardly ilk.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 05:09:41 PM EST
    oncekid...I too know people ruined by drugs, and I know others ruined by overeating, and others ruined by sex addiction, and others ruined by gambling addiction. The most ruinous addiction I've come across is alcohol. I just don't get how schools hiring spies will help anybody? And let's not kid ourselves, the majority of those busted were busted for reefer. Millions upon millions of youths experiment with reefer to no ill effect later in life. Why drag them through the system, chain them, fingerprint them, deny them financial aid? What do you hope to accomplish, a vice free society? Don't make me laugh.

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#33)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 05:13:18 PM EST
    Back on point for a moment, could the school have spent $60k in a better manor?

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#34)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 11, 2005 at 06:39:14 PM EST
    "And I've seen nothing from you or anyone else to dispell my beliefs. You've been relegated to insignficance with the rest of your cowardly ilk." Shorter patrick - "i've got my fingers in my ears and i can't hear you la la la la". He got caught lying and isn't man enough to admit it. BTW, patrick, what do you think about, you remember the actual thread, whether $60k could have been spent better by this school?

    Re: High School Hires Undercover PI to Make Busts (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 12, 2005 at 06:28:47 AM EST
    Quite right Sailor. An afterschool basketball league would be more effective at keeping kids off drugs, for example.

    Why is it that when 16 kids get busted for breaking the law by selling drugs every pot smoking smart ass has to come out of the wood works to attack the PI for doing her job? I happen to know the PI personally and cannot believe the backlash this story is getting. Quit throwing the term entrapment around as if you know what it actually means. Face the facts, these kids did something stupid and illegal and they got busted, get over it. Who cares if you have to sit through school wondering if the person next to you is a DEA agent. If you're not doing anything wrong you shouldn't have to worry about it. There wouldn't be PI's in this world if the evidence they collected wouldn't hold up in court. Get yourself educated on U.S. laws before you start running your mouths.