Realistic film warns students about dangers of drug trade

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by Angela Kocherga/ 3TV Border Bureau

azfamily.com

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 3 at 2:27 PM

El Paso, TX -- Armed officers, panicked students, screaming in the hallways and chaos in classrooms.

It sounds like every parent’s worst nightmare, but it’s not real. It’s actually part of a movie that’s being filmed to illustrate the dangers of the drug trade.

The movie “Operation Detour:Two”  won’t be shown in theaters, but is designed to be viewed in schools around the country.

The film is in production right now. Crews transformed the campus of a small west Texas high school into a movie set. Real students act out the roles, and real law enforcement officers act out their response.

Some of the scenes are so realistic, that a few of the student actors said they were startled when the Texas Rangers ordered the "gunman" to drop his weapon and get down on the ground.

“I found that very scary because I’ve never been in a position like that,” said Cassandra Castro, 15, who played one of the shooting victims.

The producer of the film wants students to be aware of the real dangers out there.   Drug runners make a living moving dope from Mexico into the United States, and many use kids and teenagers to do their dirty work by convincing them to smuggle the drugs for them.

“Every scene that we’ve put in this film has been ripped out of the headlines here in the United States,” said producer Rusty Fleming.

If that sounds far fetched, consider the 500 pounds of marijuana recently found on a school bus full of junior varsity basket players.

While filming the movie, the crews took care to make the crime scene look as realistic as possible. A Sheriff’s deputy even gave the actor playing the teenage gunman tips on how to hold the weapon for the scene.

The first Operation Detour movie targeted students mainly living in border towns. But this sequel will be shown to students in all 50 states.

The film’s goal is to raise awareness and steer youngsters away from the drug trade.

“We’re doing this to help kids make the right decision, make the right choices,” said Adam Ramirez, an actor in the first movie.

“In the end, when this production is done, it will touch some kids across the country and it will save someone’s life and that’s what it’s all about,” says the director.

"Operation Detour: 2" premiers in El Paso in January and will begin showing in schools in February.

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