Skip to main content

Just ahead of Tuesday's scheduled deposition of officer Daniel Zipperstein, a/k/a Daniel Briggs, a/k/a Deputy Dan, a/k/a the undercover police officer who targeted our son, Jesse, this appeared in the Sunday edition of the LA Times.

Jesse Snodgrass had recently transferred to Chaparral High School in Temecula and was feeling out of place and alone in 2012 when a boy named Dan, another newcomer, befriended him. Jesse, a 17-year-old autistic student, wasn't good at making friends and he was pleased by the overture. But there was something he didn't know about Dan: He was an undercover narcotics officer attending class at Chaparral hoping to bust student drug dealers.

Dan quickly began exerting pressure on Jesse to sneak a pill from his parent's medicine cabinet or buy him some marijuana. Jesse, whose demeanor and speech clearly signal his autism, was at first at a loss for how to meet his friend's request. But he finally sought out a homeless man near a dispensary and traded a $20 bill Dan had given him for a plastic bag containing less than a gram of marijuana leaves. A few months after the two young men met, Jesse was arrested and found himself alone and bewildered in juvenile detention.


The Riverside County Sheriff's Department regularly targets high school students, sometimes, as in this case, inspiring crime where it otherwise would not have existed. In the last four years, the department has staged four undercover sting operations in which adult officers, masquerading as high school students, repeatedly pressured students to obtain illegal substances for them. Over the last four years, nearly 100 students, a number of whom were special-needs students, have been arrested.


But we as a society still have some soul-searching to do. Should we really allow adults to dress up as kids, embed themselves in school classrooms and trick children into breaking the law?


Children should receive honest drug education from their schools, not face deception and betrayal by people they think are their peers. Inevitably, as in the case of Jesse Snodgrass, high school drug stings will ensnare some students who would never have been involved in obtaining or selling drugs without being manipulated by undercover officers. Is pushing students into illicit activities really the best use of scant law enforcement resources?

The piece was written by Theshia Naidoo and Lynne Lyman, senior staff attorney and California state director, respectively, for our an organization that we partner with, the Drug Policy Alliance.

As referenced above, Deputy Dan, the undercover police officer who we believe entrapped our son, will be under oath for his deposition tomorrow. He has been scheduled for this previously, and on multiple occasions, he has cancelled at the 11th hour. However, it appears that tomorrow is going forward, and we will be there.

Our legal expenses are significant, and we do need to raise more funds to pay for other upcoming depositions, which are coming out of our pocket, unlike the Temecula Valley Unified School District's legal fees, which are being paid by our taxes. We appreciate any donations to the Jesse Snodgrass Legal Fund.

It is disheartening that people who are accepting paychecks that include our tax dollars, are willing to participate in actions that they know will end in children going to jail, and having their futures destroyed. Yet they have neither the courage nor decency to be accountable for these actions. So we are forcing the accountability.

And by the way, the school district is still taking the position, and trying to prove in this lawsuit, that Jesse is a drug dealer.

Some of you know that Rolling Stone published The Entrapment of Snodgrass a little over a month ago. It pleased us to see that in the mag's current issue, they gave it a lot of attention in their Correspondence section (see below and click to make larger).

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Joe Bob, BOHICA, MadRuth, teacherken, badger, sacrelicious, Shockwave, LynChi, mslat27, celdd, xynz, polecat, elfling, niemann, opinionated, CatM, susans, estamm, boadicea, CanisMaximus, wader, mnguitar, Calidrissp, JayBat, Steven D, Dirk McQuigley, marina, Tinfoil Hat, LakeSuperior, geruta, Chinton, chimene, Alice Venturi, snacksandpop, J Rae, eru, bleeding blue, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, ladybug53, most peculiar mama, markdd, RichterScale, Tool, Ginny in CO, kerplunk, peacestpete, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Medium Head Boy, emeraldmaiden, cookseytalbott, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, gpoutney, middleagedhousewife, justiceputnam, llbear, MadMs, lynneinfla, Statusquomustgo, NancyWH, Bernie68, AllanTBG, Aaa T Tudeattack, FlamingoGrrl, Polacolor, wa ma, Russ Jarmusch, ColoTim, threegoal, yoduuuh do or do not, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, mommyof3, NoMoJoe, second gen, millwood, journeyman, Don midwest, kdnla, keyscritter, TomP, Empower Ink, jgilhousen, MKinTN, CroneWit, mconvente, GAS, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, Aureas2, dadadata, here4tehbeer, Cassandra Waites, smartdemmg, glendaw271, oak park progressive, JamieG from Md, shortgirl, maggiejean, spacecadet1, Norm in Chicago, petral, asym, davespicer, jpmassar, Leftcandid, Simple, cordgrass, samanthab, rja, Betty Pinson, science nerd, slice, Sal Bovoso, coquiero, Oldowan, spooks51, ban nock, implicate order, Intheknow, Lusty, Lorikeet, susanala, badscience, midnight lurker, IB JOHN, sound of progress, bakeneko, leftykook, ArtemisBSG, Laurel in CA, livingthedream, jacey, sow hat, Trevin, nellgwen, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, CA ridebalanced, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, BusyinCA, BRog, lunachickie, Hammerhand, Lily O Lady, motherlu, runfastandwin, Jim Domenico, oslyn7, TheDuckManCometh, SusiesPurl, Kit RMP, Penny GC, art ah zen, AZsparky, occupystephanie, dialysisterLCO, irocdk, kfunk937, AWilson, IndyDemGirl, SpriteSuzi

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site