Undercover Cop Tricks Autistic Student into Selling Him Weed (Full Length)


First and last name? My first name is Jessie My last name is Snodgrass Have you ever sold drugs at Chapperal High School? Nope You’ve never sold drugs to any students there? No sir. No? Okay. Do you know who this is? Nope You sure? Yea, I’m sure Daniel? It was the first thing he said when I spoke to him on the phone. It was… not “Mom I got locked up” But he said: “Mom do you remember my friend?” And I said “Yes” And he said: “He’s a cop”. The war on drugs is still going strong in America. Even though states like Colorado and Washington have legalized weed federal grants still reward local police departments based on the sheer numbers of drug arrests they report incentivising local cops to target the most vulnerable on December 11, 2012 22 high school students were arrested in Temecula, California a sunny suburb just east of LA It was the culmination of what authorities called Operation Glass House. A twenty one jump street style undercover sting. Adult police officers posed as students in two high schools. They went to class, did homework, and tried to get kids to sell them illegal drugs on campus This is the story of Jessie Snodgrass, an autistic teenager who was one of the students arrested that day At the beginning of his senior year Jessie thought he had made a new friend. A fellow student named Daniel Briggs But, this friendship was a sham Daniel Briggs was in fact Deputy Daniel Zipperstein, a cop in his mid 20’s. Ever since his arrest Jessie has suffered from PTSD So he didn’t want to talk to us on camera. But he wants his story known. His parents: Dug and Catherine Snodgrass; welcomed us into their home to talk about how Operation Glass House affected their son. And what they are doing to fight back. This is the story of how the war on drugs prays on the most vulnerable. Did Jesse have many friends growing up? Well that’s always been a big challenge for Jessie. He has no friends. Senior year he made a new friend right? Yeah it was huge progress we felt it was a milestone in Jessie’s life. It seemed like God sent to us. On one of the very first days of school Daniel asked Jessie to get him some marijuana So you do know who that is. Yeah. Do you know his name Daniel Briggs Have you ever sold Daniel Briggs drugs? *shakes head in denial* We know that you’ve sold drugs. But, I just gave him some cause he was just all like I need this. So, Daniel asked Jessie to get him some marijuana. He also gave him some money, 20 dollars to get it from Jessie didn’t know where to get it. It started texting him relentlessly making requests. You know bugging him. He agonized over this for some time. He decided to go to a dispensary, a marijuana dispensary. and He found some guy who Jessie says he thinks was a homeless guy who was near there and He gave him the 20 dollars and got a very small amount of marijuana for it. And that ‘s what he supplied to Dan. He was charged with two felony counts of selling marijuana. Oh and there it is. That’s the amount of weed. Ha! 20 dollars, .6 grams *chuckles* that’s outrageous I think he was really worried about how am I going to do this because if I don’t i’m going to lose my friend You know his only friend. He was desperate. This is the beginning where he just sort of starts to retreat. And, you know it’s really hard to get his attention. You know you would kind of clap your hands loudly in front of him and he wouldn’t flinch. At around age 2 his speaking just stopped he just stopped. Being aware of things is just not here He’ll start noticing he is looking away from the camera almost all the time.Where he would just sit in the corner, by himself and kind of wave his hand in front of his face like this for hours. His behavior was becoming more and more isolating. I went out of my way to find him play dates. Kids would come over and I would make sure they’d have a really good time because I’d want to kind of encourage any friendships not would be one time only. I don’t think he would ever have more then one play date. Did you at all feel like the betrayal that ended up happening with the undercover cop was kinda like there’s echo’s of various things that happened through his lifetime. Absolutely, well it was the biggest betrayal. But it was one more. You’re right. He wasn’t even upset at being locked up. He was just so so upset that this person betrayed him And he said: “Mom. I was only trying to help him. I thought I was doing the right thing.” And that people who do this are viewed as heroes. That’s beyond me. What and that seems almost so. So insidious about his that he was reacting out of empathy. That he was showing it by his actions. He was trying to help out a friend Yeah. Which I suppose for his condition is quite remarkable Yeah. Yeah, that was for him to be able to do that. Was you know would be considered a break through in anyone else’s circumstances He was being bullied for being different the word “retard” was used at him a lot. He still reacts really strongly to that word In response to all this bullying that was happening, He was trying to make himself unapproachable. He cut his hair off. Cut it real short to like a buzz cut. Started wearing T-shirts with metal militia type logos. Gave him a tough guy persona. Most of the students knew Daniel was a cop. On campus his nickname was Deputy Dan. He was always asking for drugs, always asking you know like where I can get this and if he would hear he would jump into conversations just asking for drugs. Did Temecula have any sort of history being a drug town like where kids get high all the time. Not that we’ve ever heard of. Temecula was named the second safest city in America.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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