Terroristic threats: Mercedes teens in jail following social media statements

MERCEDES — It appeared to be business as usual at Mercedes High School yesterday.

Kids were in class, others walking the halls, or chatting with cell phones in hand.

But 24 hours earlier, things were far from normal at the school.

A pair of 17-year-old seniors were pulled out of class and taken to Hidalgo County Jail where they are now sitting behind bars.

Roen Lerma, and Jose Cano, were both taken out of class Wednesday morning after authorities discovered what they believe were terroristic threats made against Mercedes High School.

Lerma who goes by the name Decimatings on Twitter is holding machine guns on his profile picture and also has a demonic looking Taylor Swift photo on his account.

Lerma responded to Cano’s 7:16 a.m. Twitter message wishing for another 9/11 attack.

Lerma proceeded in saying on Twitter at 7:24 a.m. that Cano should come by the school and shoot it up.

Cano did not respond to Lerma’s message but did hit the like button.

A female student also liked the tweet, and responded at 7:25 a.m. saying to tell her when they were planning it, so she wouldn’t go to school that day.

The students were pulled out of class quickly Wednesday morning around 9:30 a.m. after Google representatives contacted the school with concern about the Tweets.

Cano attended the Mercedes Early College Academy with Lerma until he transferred back to the Mercedes High School earlier this school year.

Cano is said to be a normal-looking student, but very quiet, who sits in the back of the class and does not appear to talk to anyone.

One of his classmates in seventh period forensic science said students at school were stating the comments on Twitter were weird, unexpected and not right because it’s not a laughing matter to a lot of people.

The two students were arraigned and charged with Felony Three Terroristic Threats Wednesday afternoon by Municipal Judge Juan Ramon Alvarez and we’re given a $250,000 cash surety bond each.

“I hope that these youngsters understand and those parents understand that our authorities are not going to take this lightly,” said Dr. Daniel Trevino, Mercedes superintendent of schools.

Trevino said the students interacted together on their own personal time and with their own hardware devices.

Trevino said yesterday more security was put in place, but all-in-all it’s new business as usual at Mercedes school district again.

However, both schools will continue to have heightened security until further notice.

Trevino said the school district is in cordination with authorities both the Mercedes police as well as federal authorities because the allegations are being considered a Federal offense.

“We were fortunate that the threat was discovered and we were fortunate that we found the sources,” Trevino said. “It’s extremely serious whether the threat was going to be implemented or not.”

Yesterday, an automated voice recording was sent to all parents in the district notifying them about the incident at the school.

Trevino said the lives of the students and staff is a serious matter and knowing a threat exists in the district risks the lives of the 1,200 students, 100 staff and visitors at the school.

“We continue focusing on prevention and continue taking safety as a major priority for everyone,” Trevino said. “We follow the philosophy of prevention.”

Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado said the Mercedes police resource officer sprang into action and immediately apprehended both individuals Wednesday without any incident.

Mercedes police are continuing the investigation and the case will eventually be sent to the district attorny’s office, which will decide on a court date.

“We take all threats seriously especially when they involve our children,” Maldonado said.