Autistic Teen Tricked into Buying Weed for Undercover Cop

  • by Sabrina Fendrick October 10, 2013

    [UPDATE: October 30, the family of the young man entrapped by police in this case have filed a lawsuit. Read more here.]

    In late 2012, a Riverside County, California police officer infiltrated a local high school, befriended a vulnerable, special needs student and then proceeded to send more than 60 text messages begging the student to buy him weed.  The student, who had been diagnosed with autism as well as bipolar disorder, Tourettes, and several anxiety disorders (and noticeably handicapped) became overwhelmed by the pressure, and the desire to keep his only friend.  He finally agreed to buy pot for “Dan” (the undercover cop).  It took the teenager weeks to find anything, eventually buying half of a joint from from a homeless man downtown.

    Then, as reported by Reason Magazine, “On December 11, 2012 armed police officers walked into [the student’s] classroom and arrested him in front of his peers. He was taken to the juvenile detention center, along with the 21 other arrestees, where he was kept for 48 hours. First hand reports claim that the juvenile center was caught off guard by the large number of arrests and that some youths had to sleep on the floor, using toilet paper as pillows.”  The child was also expelled from school.

    This story is a grotesque example of how our nation’s marijuana policies continue to encourage the use of barbaric and predatory tactics by law enforcement officials.  They are financially incentivised to not only target otherwise law abiding citizens, but actively work to manipulate innocent children.  Aside from the gross misappropriation of limited police resources, this incident clearly highlights many of the tragic implications marijuana prohibition continues to have on our nation’s youth.  Further, zero tolerance policies in schools have proven to be ineffective in the very purpose for which they were originally designed. The practice of engaging in high school undercover drug stings has proven to do nothing to curb teen drug use.  It does however, leave the student body traumatized and resentful of law enforcement, making them less likely to report legitimate crimes in the future.  It is an egregiously unfair and punitive practice by educational institutions to expel students as punishment for any infraction of a rule, a significant portion of which are for non-violent low level drug violations.  How does removing a minor from what is intended to be a stable, nurturing environment do anything to help prepare these individuals to lead responsible productive lives?  They are now forced to sit at home with nothing to do but hang out with other expelled peers, or in a juvenile detention center.

    One can argue that this all leads back to the financial incentives driving police officers to arrest as many individuals on drug charges as possible.  Every year, law enforcement jurisdictions are given federal grants, swat gear, overtime pay and assets based solely on their number of drug arrests.  Perhaps it is a result of former Governor Schwarzenegger’s passage of SB 1449 in 2010, which reduced the crime of possession of an ounce of pot from a misdemeanor to an infraction for adults 18 and over.  Now, the only way to keep up their arrest rates is by targeting minors – whose charges remain misdemeanors.  It is time to stop the madness and put an end to these insane zero-tolerance policies.  Our children’s future depends on it.

    **The family of the student framed by an undercover officer have set up a fundraiser to support their lawsuit against the school district.  Click here for more information.

    71 responses to “Autistic Teen Tricked into Buying Weed for Undercover Cop”

    1. Mr. Sandman says:

      Your tax dollars at work, people.

      We really should focus on getting these people out of politics and enforcement AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

      Protesting and whatnot are valuable tools, however, I believe nothing speaks louder than money and votes. Stop giving them your money and votes and give them to someone who deserves them.

    2. John says:

      This is really making me sick. Please NORML, organize a March to the White House! Please! When I was in high school early 80’s they did something similar to me at La Mirada High School in California. They busted me for seeds in the trunk of my car after illegal search (didnt know this then) and called my girlfriends parents on me. I am so sick of the U.S. Government lies I want to march to White House asap. I will walk from Colorado al the way to the White House with signs if you arrange it and get people to join me. My e-mail is jdbdroid1@gmail.com if you wish to contact me for a march.

    3. Voice of the Resistance says:


    4. Kimberly says:

      This is sickening! Very angry.

    5. Demonhype says:

      I am so angry right now that, for the first time, I don’t have anything to say. Or is it that I have plenty to say but right now it would only come out as an incoherent mess of violence and hatred directed at our so-called heroes of law enforcement and the DEA? Either way, I could kick a puppy* right now, I’m that pissed.

      The undesirables of society aren’t the ones in jail. They’re the ones in law enforcement. For some reason, that job seems to attract all the most sociopathic and psychotic narcissistic authoritarians.

      *Don’t worry, I won’t, I would never, but I could.

    6. Playtoy says:

      In my opinion it’s because of the availability of “weed”..In some cases it’s easier to find and in MANY cases the police departments are lazy and don’t want to work to locate the DEADLY drugs nor put themselves in harms way because we know that these “weed” smokers are carrying tech9s or AK47s<–sarcasm..so therefore the Lazy police know if they go after the "weed" they don't have to deal with a dangerous situations at hand. I mean seriously it makes them look weak and scared..I'm more then positive I've had tougher steaks then some of these Lazy Police officers. As long as they get a Drug Bust on record it makes the people(tax payers) think their tax paying dollars are being put to good use when in all honesty there are kids out there Dying from DEADLY DRUGS that should be their(police) priority before they worry about trying to get rid of some plant that is a Medicine. No matter how much they spend or how many people they have nor how many hours they put in trying to dispose of Marijuana it will never happen. They are, they have been and always will be fighting a losing battle..

    7. Don Berry says:

      Alcohol and tobacco are also illegal drugs for teens. All drugs are bad, right? So why not entrap, arrest, and expel the entire student body, then close the school to save us all a bunch of the taxpayer’s money?

    8. Jaime says:

      Straight up BS!

    9. Are you kidding me?! Where does it end seriously?


    10. Gary Bond says:

      What a waste of resources. Scum bag department. What the hell did they hope to accomplish??? They lost a lot of support i would hope. So many law suits against law enforcement for civil right violations and many more illegal and un CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. WHEN WILL OBSERD ACTIONS AGAINST DECENT CITIZENS STOP!!????!! WHAT A SHIT STORM OF SCHEMING POLICE BULLSHIT!!!