The school’s first 60 years: Seven students arrested in 1985 in school-wide drug bust

September 20, 2019 — by Brandon Wang and Oliver Ye

Undercover cop operation exposed drug problems on campus

On March 21, 1985, seven students were arrested during second period for selling or arranging to sell marijuana or cocaine. Two former students were also arrested in relation to the investigation. They were caught by an unnamed undercover sheriff’s deputy who had been posing as a student since the beginning of second semester. 

At approximately the same time that the Saratoga High students were apprehended, 17 students at Los Gatos High were also taken into custody on drug charges as part of a separate investigation. Similar operations were also conducted at LGHS in 1979 and 1994. 

The San Jose Mercury News covered the busts, as well as KRON. This, combined with the shock, produced a largely negative effect among students at the time. Many objected that the operation damaged trust and could lead to paranoia, especially because students were not warned in advance about it.

For his part, principal Tod Likins justified the undercover operation as necessary as part of an ongoing process to curb the widespread sale of narcotics on campus. 

This account is a summary of a story that appeared as a special insert in the edition of The Falcon that was distributed on March 22, 1985. The story was written by Bill Pratt. 

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