Shelley Zimmerman, San Diego’s new police chief, posed as a Patrick Henry High School student during a three-month undercover operation in 1983, Voice of San Diego says.
Bill Holman, the prosecutor assigned to the case, told Voice that the busts were a revelation and a nightly news staple.
“You’d have thought we’d have busted the Arellano-Felix gang,” Holman was quoted as saying.
Holman told Voice that Zimmerman could pass for a 12-year-old and the the Midwestern transfer cover story was plausible because of her Ohio accent.
Holman said he was impressed by Zimmerman’s professionalism while undercover. Most rookie cops, he said, are overeager and talk over suspects rather than trying to get them to incriminate themselves. Zimmerman let the kids talk. “It was so easy for her to buy dope from these people,” Holman said.
Zimmerman said she didn’t use marijuana in the stings of student drug-sellers.
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