Deputies avert possible gang-motivated fight at Heritage

CONYERS - A Covington man is in the Rockdale County Jail facing firearm possession and other charges following a tip about a possible “gang-motivated fight” at the end of the school day last Friday in the Heritage High School parking lot. No fights occurred on campus and no students were placed in danger.

According to a news release from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, on March 16, the resource officer at Heritage received information that there would be a gang-motivated fight at the end of the school day in a school parking lot. Deputies with the RCSO Special Investigations Unit patrolled the area of the Sugar Hill subdivision and Heritage High School.

One student came from the Sugar Hill subdivision to the area of the parking lot where the fight was supposed to occur. He was arrested on charges of public indecency and criminal trespass. He has been identified as Charles Jefferies, 18, of Conyers.

In the subdivision, deputies made contact with two vehicles following one another. They recognized two known gang members in the two vehicles and were able to stop one of the vehicles.

The passenger, Lenny Mejias, 21, of Covington, allegedly attempted to fight with deputies. He was taken into custody and found to be in possession of marijuana and a loaded pistol with an extended magazine, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with possession of marijuana less than an ounce, felony obstruction of law enforcement, interference with government property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime, felony tampering with evidence, and a parole violation.

Investigators believe that the suspects arrested in this incident were going to be involved in the gang-motivated fight that was going to take place. The recovery of a firearm during this incident led investigators to believe that a shooting may have been averted, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Cindy Ball, the Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the Rockdale County School System, stated the system’s appreciation of its partnership with the Sheriff’s Office to keep students and schools safe.

“We will continue to collaborate as we work to enhance school safety as discussed at our recent Parent Academy,” Ball stated in an email. “At this time, we are investigating this incident and the actions of the one identified student in the RCSO press release.”

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