Parents Arrested for Allegedly Planting Drugs in School Volunteer's Car

Attorney couple in Irvine thought volunteer didn't "properly supervise" son.

ByABC News
June 20, 2012, 10:07 AM

June 21, 2012— -- Parents who are dissatisfied with some aspect of their child's education often consider setting up a meeting with the child's teacher or make a phone call to the school.

But Kent and Jill Easter, both 38 lawyers and parents of an elementary school student in Irvine, Calif., opted to take matters into their own hands, police claim.

The couple were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly planting drugs in the car of a volunteer at their child's school, according to the Irvine Police Department because they thought the parent volunteer "was not properly supervising" their son, said Lt. Julia Engen.

"It is an absolute, over-the-top, irrational response to what would ordinarily be a minor dispute," Engen said. "It's inexplicable."

Kent Easter drove to the home of the school volunteer, whom police are calling "Jane Doe," early on the morning of Feb. 16, 2011, and placed a bag of marijuana, Percocet and Vicodin on the driver's seat of her unlocked car, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Later that afternoon, he allegedly called the Irvine Police Department's non-emergency number and, using a false name and phone number, told the dispatcher that he had seen Jane Doe driving erratically and that she had parked at the elementary school, police said.

He also allegedly told police that he'd seen the woman hide a bag of drugs behind the driver's seat, and provided them with her full name and license plate number.

Police were able to see the bag of drugs from outside the vehicle, and they contacted the volunteer who allowed them to search her car and her home. She was emphatic that the drugs weren't hers and that she had been in a classroom at the time Kent Easter claimed to have seen her put the drugs there, police said.

She was detained for felony drug possession, but Engen said the responding police officer could tell that something wasn't adding up based on the volunteer's adamant reaction and the fact that she'd been at school when the tipster claimed to have seen her.

"The caller couldn't have seen what he said he saw when he saw it," Engen said. "He [the officer] knew something was wrong with that call."

After police couldn't find any evidence to support drug use or possession, they began investigating whether the drugs had been planted in her car.

They traced Kent Easter's call to the business center of a hotel in Newport Beach, Calif., and he had been recorded by the hotel's video surveillance system making the call, police said. Police also said Kent and his wife, Jill, were allegedly in constant contact via cell phone calls and text messages while Kent drove to and from the volunteer's home.

"They were in it together," Engen said.

The Easters both face felony charges and a maximum sentence of three years in state prison for conspiring to falsely report a crime and procure a false arrest, and for the volunteer's false imprisonment, police said. They posted $20,000 bail and are scheduled to be arraigned on July 17.

"How two people with so much going for them find themselves in this position is hard to understand," Engen said.

The Easters could not be located and their lawyers did not respond to's repeated requests for comments.

The Easters' babysitter, Tiffany Pan, says she's shocked by the arrest of her employers, according to KABC-TV in Los Angeles. "They're always so positive and happy, and I just can't imagine them even doing anything like this," Pan said.