Two Teens Charged with Handgun Possession on Montgomery College – Germantown Campus

Guga Vashakidze

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – 5th District Investigative Section have charged Guga Vashakidze, age 18, of the 11700 block of Emerald Green Drive in Clarksburg, with possession of a firearm on school property and have charged Menlik N. Sirleaf, age 17, of the 18700 block of Walkers Choice Road in Gaithersburg,  as an adult with attempted first-degree assault and handgun related offenses regarding threats that Sirleaf made toward a Montgomery College student and the subsequent possession of a handgun by Sirleaf and Vashakidze on the Montgomery College Germantown Campus.

Yesterday morning (Friday, October 5) at approximately 9:15, 5th District officers responded to the Montgomery College Germantown Campus located at 20200 Observation Drive in Germantown for the report of social media threats directed toward a Montgomery College student.  Officers spoke with the adult male victim who stated that on Monday, October 1, Sirleaf had been on the campus and had threatened to harm him. The victim further stated that Sirleaf had previously posted a photo on social media which showed Sirleaf holding a handgun. Sirleaf later posted on the same social media account that he was going to come to the Montgomery College Germantown Campus and look for the victim.

Officers who were on the college grounds looking for Sirleaf observed him and Vashakidze walking in a parking lot on the campus.   Upon seeing the officers, both Sirleaf and Vashakidze fled on foot but they were both quickly taken into custody.  Officers located a handgun in the backpack that Vashakidze was carrying.  Officers further located suspected marijuana and a digital scale in that backpack.

Sirleaf and Vashakidze were arrested and transported to the Germantown station.  During a police interview, Sirleaf admitted that the handgun, marijuana, and the scale were his.  Sirleaf also admitted that he had arrived on the campus carrying a gym bag at approximately 9:00 yesterday morning.  Sirleaf met Vashakidze in a campus bathroom inside the school and placed the handgun into a backpack that Vashakidze was carrying.

Sirleaf was transported to the Central Processing Unit where he was charged as an adult with attempted first-degree assault, possession of a handgun on school property and other handgun related offenses, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute.  Vashakidze was charged with possession of a handgun on school property and with the possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute.   Sirleaf is currently being held without bond. Vashakidze is currently being held on a $5,000 bond.

**Note: A photograph of Sirleaf will not be released due to his age.**

Teenager Charged with Possession of Stolen Handgun at Paint Branch High School

A Montgomery County Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to Paint Branch High School has charged 17-year-old Elijah C. Nyamekye of the 100 block of Wilton Oaks Drive in Silver Spring as an adult for offenses related to the possession of a stolen handgun at the school.

Today (Tuesday, June 12) at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Paint Branch High School Resource Officer (SRO) received information from Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) security personnel that an unknown male who did not attend the school had entered the building and after providing a false name and false MCPS student identification number to them, fled from the school.  The SRO obtained a description of the male suspect and the SRO and a school security employee searched the surrounding area of the school together in an attempt to locate him.

The SRO and the school security employee located a person who matched the suspect’s description walking on Briggs Chaney Road at Columbia Pike (Route 29).  The suspect attempted to flee when the SRO stopped to speak with him.  The SRO detained the suspect, placed him under arrest, and identified him as Nyamekye.  School security personnel positively identified Nyamekye as the suspect who had been in the school and then fled.

After arresting Nyamekye, the SRO searched the black shoulder bag that Nyamekye was carrying and located a loaded, .38 revolver inside the bag.  The SRO later determined that that revolver had been reported as stolen from Pennsylvania.

Nyamekye was transported to the Central Processing Unit where he was charged as an adult with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old, possession of a stolen handgun, trespassing on school property, and disrupting school activities.

Bond information for Nyamekye is not available at this time.

*Note: a mugshot for Nyamekye will not be provided due to his age.*

Update: Investigation of Gun Possession on School Property Continues; Clarksburg High School Student’s Home Searched

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit continue to investigate the February 15 incident involving 18-year-old Alwin Chen of the 11700 block of Gunners Drive in Germantown possessing a handgun at Clarksburg High School.

As part of this process, detectives applied for and were granted a search warrant for Chen’s home.  On the evening of February 15, detectives searched Chen’s residence.  Evidence, to include the following items, were seized from Chen’s home:

  • Two rifles
  • A shotgun
  • Two handguns
  • Ammunition
  • Inert (replica) grenades
  • A ballistic vest
  • A replica electrical firing device (referred to as a clacker)
  • Chen’s journal

Regarding the above seized items, it should be noted that:

  • Detectives are working to confirm ownership of the seized guns.  At this time, there is no indication that any of the guns were stolen.  There is no indication that the guns belong to anyone other than household members.
  • There were no explosives recovered in the home.
  • Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office examined the inert grenades and clacker and determined them to be replicas.
  • Detectives have reviewed the contents of Chen’s journal.  There is no wording regarding any threat nor any expression of wanting to cause harm to anyone at the school in this journal.
  • Chen’s motive for bringing a gun to school remains under investigation.

Chen is being held on a no bond status.  This remains an ongoing investigation and detectives continue to work with the State’s Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County Public Schools.  Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240.773.6400.

 

Clarksburg High School Student Arrested and Charged with Possession of Loaded Handgun on School Property

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit have charged 18-year-old Alwin Chen of the 11700 block of Gunners Drive in Germantown with offenses related to the possession of a handgun at Clarksburg High School.

Today, just prior to 2:00 p.m., the School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to and working at Clarksburg High School (located at 22500 Wims Road), received information that Chen might have brought a gun to school today.  School security, accompanied by the SRO, went to Chen’s classroom.  A school security employee entered the classroom and informed Chen that he needed to speak to Chen.  The SRO and the  employee walked Chen to a school office.

Once inside the school office, the SRO asked Chen if he had a weapon on his person, to which Chen replied that he had a handgun in his book bag and a knife in his front, shirt pocket.  At approximately 2:20 p.m., the SRO recovered a loaded, 9mm handgun from Chen’s book bag and placed Chen under arrest.  The SRO also retrieved the knife from Chen’s pocket.

Chen was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a person under 21 years old, and possession of a firearm on school property.

This investigation is ongoing.  Detectives continue to work to gather information and collect evidence to include conducting a search of Chen’s residence and researching and confirming the ownership and purchasing history of the handgun.  Chen’s motive for bringing a gun to school also remains under investigation.  As additional information is confirmed, it will be released to the public.  Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240.773.6400.

RLI

Alwin Chen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recovered Handgun (photo edited by MCP to conceal serial number).

 

 

 

 

Suspects Charged with Vehicle Theft and Firearm-Related Offenses

Mario Alvarado

Mario G. Alvarado, age 18, of the 2900 block of Dawson Avenue in Wheaton, has been arrested and charged with stolen vehicle and firearm-related offenses.  A Montgomery County Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to Albert Einstein High School in North Kensington observed Alvarado operating a stolen vehicle on the grounds of the high school on May 1.  Officers located a stolen assault rifle in the stolen car.

On Monday, May 1 at approximately 10:33 a.m., the SRO was patrolling the school grounds in his marked cruiser and observed a blue Mazda 3 park to the rear of Albert Einstein High School.  The SRO observed the driver of the Mazda exit the vehicle, walk toward the school, and return to the Mazda a short time later.  As the driver of the Mazda drove away from the school, the SRO activated his cruiser’s emergency equipment and initiated a traffic stop on the car at the intersection of Norris Drive and Kenton Drive.  The driver of the Mazda stopped the car at the intersection, immediately exited the Mazda, and fled from the officer.

A short time later, the driver of the Mazda, identified as Alvarado, returned to the intersection of Norris Drive and Kenton Drive and was arrested by the SRO and assisting officers.

The SRO conducted a computer check of the Mazda’s registration and determined that the Mazda had been reported stolen on April 27 from a residence on Milton Street in Wheaton.

Fourth District officers searched the stolen Mazda and located an assault rifle in the trunk.  The assault rifle was determined to belong to the Rockville City Police Department (RCPD) and had been recently stolen from a RCPD cruiser in the Kensington area on April 29.

Fourth District officers also located a black Nissan Frontier parked near Albert Einstein High School that had been reported stolen on April 22 from a residence on Lafayette Drive in Wheaton.  Officers searched the Nissan and located a shotgun which had also been stolen from the same RCPD cruiser on April 29.

Alvarado was transported to the Central Processing Unit and charged with possessing a deadly weapon on school property, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle, and other firearm-related charges.  Alvarado is being held on a $2,000 bond.

On Tuesday, May 2, Central Auto Theft Unit detectives arrested a 15-year-old male juvenile and charged him with auto theft offenses related to this investigation.  The juvenile was released to the custody of his parents.

This investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the 2nd District Investigative Section at 240-773-6710.