Riverside deputies pose as HS students in drug bust

MORENO VALLEY – Investigators are continuing a four-month drug-dealing investigation at two Riverside County high schools after an undercover sting netted 24 arrests last week.

Officers served arrest warrants at Wildomar Elsinore High School and Moreno Valley Vista del Lago High School last Thursday, pulling students out of class on charges that included mostly sales of marijuana. Those arrested were between the ages of 15 and 19, according to John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

On Monday, Hall said the only adult arrested was former Vista de Lago student Cory Granthum Brown, 19, who was charged with two counts of selling marijuana, said Hall.

Similar undercover operations have taken place in other Southern California communities, including Riverside, Palm Desert and Los Angeles, which was a pioneer in undercover operations. Elsinore and Vista del Lago are in different school districts, but reside in the same county.

The undercover operation began in early August when a county deputy began attending classes, according to records. Posing as a student, the deputy made attempts to uncover drug dealing operations at Vista del Lago.

In an investigator’s account on which an arrest warrant was based, an undercover deputy began negotiating with Brown about marijuana in October. Allegedly Brown sold the undercover deputy marijuana and a $20 transaction occurred later that month. Investigators did not say why Brown, not a student, was on the campus.

Brown turned himself in later on Thursday after the brief raids took place at each campus site.

A sheriff’s official did not say how many undercover officers took part in the investigations at either school. Chief Deputy Boris Robinson said local sheriff’s substations had received complaints about drug dealing taking place. When the undercover operations began, deputies posing as students appeared at the campuses on the first day of school.

Among the other 23 arrests, 20 were charged with selling marijuana, according to Hall. A 17-year-old female Elsinore student was charged with selling cocaine while three male Vista del Lago students were charged with selling cocaine, ecstasy or both, according to Hall.

Deputies seized an undisclosed amount of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and various prescription drugs during the raids. Robinson noted the investigation is continuing.

Vista del Lago, a fairly new campus, is one of five high schools located in Moreno Valley, located on Lasselle St. in the virtual center of the city populated at around 200,000.

Elsinore is an older campus, located on Canyon Dr. in Wildomar, near Interstate 15.

Read more,

LA Times, 24 high school students arrested in massive drug ring bust

Fresno Bee, 24 Calif. students arrested after drug probe

ABC, 24 IE high school students busted for selling drugs on campus


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