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Posted: 9/6/2004 8:35:34 AM EDT
With the hostage crisis in Beslan, local LE is stepped up security at the local schools.

3 arrests in school's opening week
Handguns, shotgun found in visitors' car in parking lot of Elk Grove's Monterey Trail High.
By M.S. Enkoji -- Bee Staff Writer - (Published September 6, 2004)

Parents of about 900 students at Elk Grove's newest high school will be getting a letter Tuesday about an opening-week incident: Two men and a juvenile were arrested in the parking lot of Monterey Trail High School after police found weapons in their car.

Not the best debut news to send home, but police assure the public that no students were in danger, said Jim Elliott, a spokesman for the Elk Grove Unified School District.

"We just want to tell them (parents) the facts of what was going on," Elliott said Sunday.

According to Elk Grove police, the three were arrested Friday afternoon, at the close of the school's first week, after police noticed irregularities in the car's license plates. During a search of the car, officers found two handguns and a short-barreled shotgun. They arrested Montel Johnson, 23; Jerry Chatman, 19; and a 14-year-old male who is not being identified because of his age.

Among the charges they could face: suspicion of possessing a firearm on school property; of possessing a short-barreled shotgun; and of possessing an unlicensed firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

None of the suspects was a student, said Elliott, who said the three were at the school to pick up a sibling of one of the suspects and nothing more.

"All indications are they were just going to pick up the kid and take off," he said.

The school, which opened Aug. 30, is the seventh high school in the district, which opened four new schools for the fall semester. Monterey Trail, on Power Inn Road east of Highway 99, shares the same site with the new Edward Harris Jr. Middle School.

Monterey Trail opened with ninth-and 10th-graders this year, and enrollment could expand to 2,250 students.

Because the two schools were opening, extra police were on-site to help direct traffic and they spotted the car, Elliott said. The arrests attracted little attention and the suspects were cooperative, he said.

"We're thankful it was very peaceful," Elliott said.

The largest district in the region, Elk Grove Unified has been dealing with rapid growth. Its enrollment has almost quadrupled in 20 years, to nearly 56,000 students.

About the Writer
The Bee's M.S. Enkoji can be reached at (916) 321-1106 or menkoji@sacbee.com.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 12:20:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2004 12:22:06 PM EDT by MisterFloppy]
The owner of the firearms is a felon? But, thats against the law!

Glad they got the guns out of the hands of a criminal.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 5:34:37 PM EDT
Elk Grove is pretty close to south Sacramento. SoSac has had an awful lot of shootings this year, and EG has been getting it's fair share also. Kind of unusual for a city that just became a city a couple years ago. Until they became a city Sac County Sheriff did the LEO duties there. Population is growing faster than services can keep up.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 10:05:26 PM EDT
So what about the license plates? Thety weren't charged anything there?
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