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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / BIG BEAR

Teens allegedly plotted shooting

October 31, 2008|DAVID KELLY

Authorities arrested five juveniles Wednesday night after receiving reports that they planned to bring guns to school and randomly shoot students, staff and teachers.

"They were overheard talking by some other students who told teachers who then notified us," said Tiffany Swantek, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Big Bear station. "We take those sorts of reports very seriously."

On Wednesday night 35 deputies launched five simultaneous searches of the suspects' homes, turning up drug paraphernalia, cash, a fake Mexican identification card and gang graffiti. One suspect has self-proclaimed gang affiliations and deputies are looking into reports that he was trying to create a new gang in the area.

Authorities arrested three 16-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, on charges of felony conspiracy. They are being held at juvenile hall in San Bernardino.

"We don't really have established gangs which is why deputies acted so quickly to quash this, because we have a zero tolerance policy," Swantek said.

During the searches, deputies arrested two adults. Miguil Hernandez, 20, of Big Bear Lake was booked for possession of stolen property and using false citizenship documents. Also arrested was Anthony Coleman, 20, of Chino on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

-- David Kelly

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