Teenagers arrested, charged in guns-for-cocaine scheme after weapons are found in school locker

High school students Sean Sullivan, 16, of Odell, Ill., second from left, and Martin Huerta, 15, of Saunemin, Ill., are escorted from court in Pontiac, Ill., on Wednesday after their arraignment where they were both charged as adults. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JOHN HOLAWAY

AP

High school students Sean Sullivan, 16, of Odell, Ill., second from left, and Martin Huerta, 15, of Saunemin, Ill., are escorted from court in Pontiac, Ill., on Wednesday after their arraignment where they were both charged as adults. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JOHN HOLAWAY

By The Associated Press

PONTIAC, Ill. – Two high school students were charged as adults Wednesday in an alleged plan to sell six handguns for money and cocaine, a day after the weapons were found in a school locker.

Sean Sullivan, 16, of Odell, and Martin Huerta Jr., 15, of Saunemin, each were charged with six counts of possessing handguns on a school bus and six counts of possessing handguns at a school, authorities said. Huerta also faces a charge of cocaine possession; police said they found an eighth of an ounce of cocaine in his home.

The students are being held on $500,000 bond each.

Sullivan admitted talking to Huerta about buying the guns for $100 each and discussed using cocaine as payment for one weapon, authorities said. No ammunition was recovered, and the guns weren’t loaded.

Sullivan was carrying the guns in a backpack on a school bus Tuesday when another student spotted the weapons and alerted a police officer assigned to the school, authorities said.

Livingston County State’s Attorney Thomas Brown would not say where the guns came from. Pontiac Police Maj. Jim Woolford said police knew the weapons’ origins but would not reveal them because the investigation is ongoing.

Phone messages left by The Associated Press with attorneys for Sullivan and Huerta on Wednesday afternoon were not immediately returned.

Sullivan’s mother, Dianna Sullivan, declined to comment on the charges.

Sullivan, Huerta and a third student were arrested Tuesday during a lockdown at Pontiac Township High School after police found the guns in a backpack in the locker.

“When the investigation began, we had the weapons recovered within six minutes of the whole thing,” Woolford said. “It was pretty much well in hand from the get-go when the information was received.”

The third student was being processed in juvenile court, Livingston County State’s Attorney Thomas J. Brown said. Brown would not say whether that student was involved in the incident or would be charged.