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Tips lead to arrests of two Collier County students for bringing knives to school

Posted at 7:27 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 09:51:26-05

Two Collier County students are facing charges after deputies say they brought knives to school. The Sheriff's Office says the students wouldn't have been arrested and caught if it weren't for tips from the community. 

Deputies say they received a tip last week that 18-year-old Benjamin Mendoza brought a gas mask to his school, Palmetto Ridge High School. They say he was making disturbing remarks about the Las Vegas Mass shooting.

When the sheriff's office investigated Mendoza, deputies said they found concerning items in his backpack like a drawing of a body with bullet holes in the chest. They also found a map of the campus with a note saying, "Shoot up the school" and a realistic looking Los Angeles Police Department badge. Deputies interviewed witnesses Monday saying they saw a knife in his bag as well.

Meanwhile, another knife was found in a student's locker at Corkscrew Middle School, Monday.

Deputies received a tip that a 13-year-old boy posted a photo of a weapon on social media over the weekend, leading school officials to search his locker.

Both students have been arrested and charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds.
Right now both investigations are ongoing. The Sheriff's Office says every tip helps. 

If you see any suspicious or unusual activity, you are encouraged to contact law enforcement.