2 Hamilton students allegedly brought stolen loaded handguns to school

2010-03-17T04:00:00Z 2 Hamilton students allegedly brought stolen loaded handguns to schoolBy PERRY BACKUS of the Ravalli Republic missoulian.com

HAMILTON – Two students will face charges for allegedly bringing stolen loaded handguns to school here last Friday.

The Hamilton Police Department arrested the pair this week following an investigation that turned up two revolvers at one of the youth’s home.

The police department received a call Monday that a student had seen the guns at the West View Alternative Learning Center in Hamilton last week.

One juvenile was arrested on a probation violation following a search by Hamilton Police School Resource Officer Stacy McElderry that turned up an empty holster, but no weapons. A second youth was sent home with his parents.

A subsequent search at the school found a camouflage jacket with a speed-loader filled with live ammunition in its pocket. The jacket allegedly belonged to one of the suspects.

After receiving information from school administrators that the youth sent home had retrieved the guns before he left the premises, McElderry said two fully loaded revolvers were later recovered at the juvenile’s home by the police.

The revolvers were a .357 and .38 calibers.

McElderry said the youths admitted they had burglarized a residence Friday afternoon. The burglary had not been reported.

The youth found in possession of the pistols will be charged with felony burglary and tampering with evidence and misdemeanor charges of theft, concealed weapon in a prohibited place and possession of a weapon in school.

The other juvenile will face all but the tampering with evidence charge.

The Hamilton Police Department did not release the names, ages or gender of the juveniles.

A $750 reward was paid by Crimestoppers in this case. McElderry said this case was a good example of the school district and Hamilton Police Department working together.

The school resource officer serves as a liaison between the schools and police department in an effort to provide a safe environment in Hamilton schools, McElderry said.

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