Police in a Houston-area narcotics task force spent a whopping eight months posing as teenage students in order to break up a student drug ring at two high schools in the suburb of Pearland. The sting began last August before ending in March, and resulted in charges against six students at Pearland High School and Dawson High School.
The effort mirrors the plot of the recent film 21 Jump Street (based on an 80s TV show), in which two youthful police officers pose as high school students in order to take down a deadly drug gang. While the movie revolved around a fictional superdrug with a propensity for killing its users, the Houston bust was more mundane, with the charges mostly revolving around trafficking cocaine, marijuana, and the prescription drug Xanax.
Lt. Chris Reioux of the Brazoria County Narcotics Task Force joked with the Houston Chronicle that he hates the “Jump Street” series, but said that hasn’t stopped his department from conducting numerous sting efforts of this sort in recent years.
“I don’t think anyone suspects that their classmate is an undercover cop,” Reioux told the Chronicle. “With the recent release of the ‘Jump Street’ movies, I think they’re a little more apprehensive, but it’s more of a joking matter – ‘you’re not “21 Jump Street” are you?’
“They don’t believe the person next to them who shows up to school every day, is doing homework next to them, is an undercover officer.”
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