The undercover operation, titled "Operation Glass House," spanned a few months and included undercover officers in three area high schools: Chaparral, Temecula Valley, and Rancho Vista Continuation. The officers posed as regular high school students and would ask other students for drugs. Twenty-two students were arrested - the majority of them are reported to be special needs students like the Snodgrass' son.Two observations:
Their son, who wished to remain unnamed, is noticeably handicapped and has been diagnosed with autism as well as bipolar disorder, Tourettes, and several anxiety disorders.
"Everyday is a challenge for him," says his father.
Their son's list of disabilities have many in the community wondering why he was targeted in this undercover drug operation.
The ordeal began on the first day of school last fall. The family had just moved to a new neighborhood and their son began his senior year at a new school, Chaparral High, in the Temecula Valley Unified School District. Their son rarely socialized, so his mom was thrilled when he announced that he had made a new friend in art class on the first day of school.
"We were so excited. I told him he should ask his friend to come over for pizza and play video games," says Catherine Snodgrass, "but his new friend always had an excuse."
His new friend, who went under the name of Daniel Briggs, was known as "Deputy Dan" to many students because it was so apparent to them that he was an undercover officer. However, to their son, whose disabilities make it hard for him to gauge social cues, Dan was his only real friend.
Dan reportedly sent 60 text messages to their son begging for drugs. According to his parents, the pressure to buy drugs was too much for the autistic teen who began physically harming himself.
Thursday, 10 October 2013
21 Jump Street
Remember all those nice undercover cops on 21 Jump Street when you were a kid? Here's what they're really like.