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19 charged in undercover drug probe at San Diego County schools

April 30, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • A person is detained by San Diego County sheriff's deputies after an undercover drug operation in northern San Diego County high schools resulted in 16 arrests.
A person is detained by San Diego County sheriff's deputies after… (San Diego County Sheriff's…)

Nineteen people are being charged with selling drugs after an undercover operation at four high schools in northern San Diego County by youthful sheriff's deputies posing as students, officials said Tuesday.

Nine are current or former students and 10 are adults, said Sheriff Bill Gore. Of the 19, 16 were arrested Tuesday morning without incident; three of the adults are at large.

"The take-away from today is this: If you want to buy [or sell] illegal drugs, you very well could be talking to a deputy sheriff," Gore said.

Three deputies went undercover for months at Mission Hills High in San Marcos, Ramona High in Ramona and Poway High and Abraxas High in Poway. Sales were made at Mission Hills, Ramona and Poway.

All three deputies heard on-campus discussions about marijuana and prescription drugs at parties. Among the drugs purchased by the deputies: marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and hydrocodone.

In each case, the school superintendent approved of the undercover operation. To make the deception appear real, each undercover deputy had "parents" who went to back-to-school nights.


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