WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU) — Officials are releasing new information about the arrests of five armed men near a Luzerne County high school.
Concerns are running high within the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.
Several gang members were arrested on school property Wednesday where police say they were trespassing with weapons and a loaded handgun.
“We believe by making this stop, the members of the Wilkes-Barre Area School District and Plains Police were able to divert an attack which could have seriously injured numerous individuals and possibly resulted in death,” said Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce.
District Attorney Sanguedolce held a news conference Thursday with the Plains Township Police Department.
New information is coming to light on the arrests of five armed men on the campus of Wilkes-Barre Area High School.
“I hesitate to add that it was immediately upon getting the driver out of the vehicle that the officers noticed a handgun inside the door panel which lead to the recovery of several other weapons,” said Sanguedolce.
Eighteen-year-old Nick Liquey, 18-year-old Jesus Gonzalez, 19-year-old Hector Vasquez-Colon, 20-year-old Danny Salazar-Parra, and 21-year-old Ariansy Osorio-Paredes were arraigned Wednesday night on felony gun charges.
According to court documents, Gonzalez was expelled from Wilkes-Barre Area High School last year for allegedly threatening to shoot a teacher.
While a motive remains unknown, police say three of the men admitted to being members of the Trinitarios street gang.
“We’re seeing more prevalence with not just that gang but the many gangs that have come to Luzerne County,” said Sanguedolce.
Sanguedolce credits the swift actions of School Resource Officers and Plains Township Police.
“With them recalling for our assistance and they advised us, we were right there at the right time,” said Plains Township Police Chief Dale Binker.
Students, teachers, and members of the public are encouraged to report suspicious activity.
“It is because of these reports that we’re able to stop serious incidents, and we’re devoted to continuing to keep all of the schools in Wilkes-Barre and throughout Luzerne County safe,” said Sanguedolce.
All five suspects are jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of posting $1 million dollars cash bail, each.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.