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Red Flags: Teen arrested with rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition outside high school sporting event

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17-year-old Diego Horta. Credit: Rowlett Police Department.


Claire Z. Cardona
The Dallas Morning News

A Garland teenager was arrested after he was discovered parked in the dark near a high school with a rifle and ammunition in his vehicle, police said.

An officer patrolling behind Rowlett Community Center about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday spotted the teen sitting in a vehicle in a dark area. The community center is near Rowlett High School, where athletic events were going on, and the Bush Turnpike.

The officer went to find out what the teen was doing and noticed a loaded 9mm Hi-Point rifle near the teen in the vehicle, Rowlett police Detective Cruz Hernandez said.

Diego Horta, 17, also had reportedly illegal drugs, 100 rounds of ammunition, a club and a Halloween mask in the vehicle, Hernandez said.

Horta is being held in the Dallas County Jail on $1 million bail. He faces charges of unlawful carry of a weapon in a weapon-free zone and possession of a controlled substance.

Horta also may face a charge of possession of child pornography after police conducted a search warrant on his phone, Hernandez said.

Hernandez also commended the officer for doing a “great job of being aware of current trends and current school events that were in his beat.”

“We will never know what we prevented, but we feel confident we prevented something bad that was going to occur,” he said, noting that the investigation has not connected Horta to any planned crime. “The investigation clearly shows this had some red flags.”

Rowlett police are working with the Dallas County district attorney’s office and the FBI in the investigation.

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