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Police Going Back to High School to Make Undercover Drug Buys


January 1998

At Central Bucks West High School near Philadelphia, police officer Ed Hernandez, 26, posed as a student attending classes for three months. The baby-faced officer, who wears dental braces, mingled with students, cut classes and got sent to the principal's office for misbehaving. Hernandez bought small quantities of marijuana and hashish from some students. Hernandez's operation resulted in eight students being arrested for possession and delivery of controlled substances, with one 18-year-student facing a five-year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted (Leon Taylor, "`Student' busts 8 at C.B. West for drugs," Philadelphia Daily News, December 4, 1997).

Undercover officer Dave Matevey, 23, attended O'Fallon Township High School in Arlington (IL) for eight weeks until someone recognized him while he was out with a group of students. Matevey went to classes, ate lunch in the cafeteria, and hung out with "friends" after school. Matevey said, "The only problem they had is that after school, kids were partying and making drug purchases." Authorities say that the arrests of more than 10 people, both students and non-students, are pending from the undercover operation (Associated Press, "Police officer goes back to high school as undercover drug agent," Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 24, 1997, sec. 1, p. 7).