BREA, Calif. (AP) _ Narcotics officers pressured a 17-year-old boy into undercover work during which he was tortured and strangled and his girlfriend raped, shot and left for dead, a lawyer charged.

Chad MacDonald had agreed to take on the work in exchange for getting a drug charge dropped that could have carried a lengthy prison term, said Lloyd Charton, an attorney for the boy's mother, Cindy MacDonald.

``Chad made a couple of busts for them, but they kept saying, `This isn't big enough. This isn't enough,''' Charton said Sunday. ``(His mother) wanted to send him back East to get away from the drug community, but they said no.''

Police Chief William Lentini denied the charge.

``We are confident of the facts of the case and fully intend to release complete and detailed information responding to the allegations made by Charton as soon as we are legally able to do so,'' he said Monday.

MacDonald was working as an informant for the police department in Brea, a city about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, when he and his 15-year-old girlfriend went to a drug hangout in Norwalk on March 1, Charton said.

The girl, who survived the attack, told police they were held there for two days, then driven to Angeles National Forest where she was raped and shot. MacDonald's body was found in a Los Angeles alley the same day, leading to the arrest of two suspects.

Lentini confirmed that minors are used to make narcotics deals under the supervision of his detectives. But police did not send MacDonald to the hangout, he said.

Charton said MacDonald's mother gave written permission to police for her son to become an informant, but that police assured her he would be watched and kept safe.

Although she agreed to the deal, Ms. MacDonald was not informed that her son might have had the option of enrolling in a drug rehabilitation program had he been convicted of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell, Charton said.

``She wants very much for the police to be accountable,'' Charton said.