A 22-year-old police officer who posed as a high school student over the past eight months made a series of arrests in Exeter, California, according to the Los Angeles Times. The undercover operation is not unlike Hollywood's recently released film, 21 Jump Street, which opened in theaters across the nation last week.
The officer, who has remained unnamed, enrolled at Exeter Union High School under the pseudonym Johnny Ramirez. Between classes and an active social life amongst other high school students, Ramirez was ordered to investigate the school's drug problem.
He would come into the narcotics investigations office and do homework. Then he would start on his police report, said City Manager Randy Groom.
The undercover operation culminated last week with the arrest of 13 students. Charges included selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a controlled substance, and conspiracy.
Ramirez, who was still attending the police academy when he was assigned to the operation, was specifically chosen for the mission because he looks so young. He was very clearly a good choice for this. He looks like he's 15 years old. He still has braces on, said Groom.
Groom was among one of six people who knew about the undercover investigation, the others being three school officials and two police officers. However, Ramirez's cover was nearly given away when a teacher, who was unaware of the operation, jokingly accused Ramirez of being an undercover narc officer during his first day of school.
None of the students had expected anything of Ramirez and were shocked to see him turn up in uniform on Wednesday when the arrests were made.