Published January 13, 2015
This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," June 1, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The "Big Investigation" goes undercover. Two police officers in Washington State went back to school to see what high school kids are learning today. They still study reading, writing and arithmetic, of course, but they're also learning about drugs and guns, and not from teachers, but from fellow students. The officers were even able to buy marijuana during English class. But the students learned an important lesson, too: Be careful who you're selling to. "Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy is here now with more.
DOUGLAS KENNEDY, "BIG STORY" CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, John, this was a four-month investigation inside three different high schools. When it was over, 12 students were in handcuffs. Police say they're simply going to the places where drugs do the most damage.
KENNEDY (VOICE-OVER): Police near Seattle, Washington, went undercover to net what they say is a drug ring. But they weren't pretending to be gang members or international smugglers. These cops were posing as high school students.
CHIEF BRIAN WILSON, FEDERAL WAY, WA: But we were successful in purchasing narcotics and various drugs on, you know, from students on campus.
KENNEDY: The undercover operation took place at three high schools in the Seattle suburbs where police say they easily purchased pot, ecstasy, cocaine and the prescription drug Oxycodone. They also say they bought rifles and semiautomatic handguns. Federal Way, Washington, Police Chief Brian Wilson says one drug purchase was even made during an English class.
WILSON: Our undercover officer was in the classroom, had contact with a student who was inside, and a brief discussion occurred, and a small transaction for marijuana occurred in the classroom.
KENNEDY: All in all, two adults and 12 students, ages 13 to 18 were arrested on charges of dealing or possessing illicit drugs or guns. Police say the busts were made possible by two undercovers, a 29-year-old woman and a 33-year-old man that passed as high school students.
WILSON: They are both very experienced officers. They are familiar with criminal investigations and undercover investigations. And even some of our staff who know them well were concerned that they were starting to act like high school students.
KENNEDY: Police say the entire investigation was done in cooperation with the principals of all three high schools. One principal said she wanted a message sent to her students.
LISA GRIEBEL, FEDERAL WAY HIGH PRINCIPAL: That you just never know if maybe somebody sitting around you is an undercover officer, maybe that will help our students make better choices.
KENNEDY: And some would be better suited for career criminals. Nonetheless, police say they've made those schools safer and they say that, John, will help students learn better.
GIBSON: I'm sure it will. Douglas, thank you.
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