St. Lucie County student brought guns and drugs to school, sheriff says

Posted at 3:21 PM, Mar 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 09:16:38-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A 10th grade student at Fort Pierce Westwood High School is charged with bringing guns and drugs to school.

The student, Eric Ronald San Nicolas, 18, has no prior criminal history.

He was arrested Wednesday at school and charged with possession of a weapon on school property, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Thursday, his bond was set at $27,750 for five charges.

“A tip from a parent and student led school resource deputies to San Nicolas who allowed deputies to search his vehicle, parked in the Westwood High School parking lot,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

A public information officer with the sheriff's office, Bryan Beaty, said coincidentally, there was also a routine drug sweep already scheduled for the day the student was arrested.

Deputies questioned San Nicolas about possible drugs in the car after they say drug dogs were utilized around his vehicle.

Investigators said they asked San Nicolas if there was anything in the car that could harm them before they searched. They said he was upfront about the fact they would find weapons.

According to the sheriff, located in the trunk was a 9 mm and .45 caliber, an AK-47, a .45 caliber and .380 caliber hand gun and a pellet gun. In addition, 12 grams of marijuana, 5.5 Xanax bars, a scale and a ceramic pipe were also located.

Nicolas was booked into the St. Lucie County Jail, held in lieu of a $27,750 bond. He posted bail Wednesday evening.

“The partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and the St. Lucie Public Schools is firmly grounded in safety and ensuring a secure environment for students to learn and develop,” Sheriff Mascara said in a statement. “Today proves that the hard work each and every day by both deputies and teachers is working and that students who fear something might not be right are comfortable enough to tell someone and know it will be addressed.”

Students said they were stunned to hear about the arrest.

“It’s like, unbelievable. Like, you’re in 10th grade. So I was like I’m shocked,” said junior Kendal McLeod.


Parents want to know what his intentions were.


“No telling what he was planning on doing. What was his intentions with all that?” said Rhonda and Donna Sasnette.

Westwood High and the St. Lucie Co. School District issued the following statement:

Acting on a tip from a parent and a student about a non-school related incident that took place over the weekend, Fort Pierce Westwood High School staff and members of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office questioned and gained consent to search a student’s vehicle.  Based on this search, drugs and weapons were confiscated, and an 18-year-old 10th grade student was arrested and taken into custody. With the quick action of investigating personnel, the drugs and weapons never made their way into the school building.

As with all matters of safety, we have taken this very seriously and acted accordingly.  The partnership St. Lucie Public Schools has with local law enforcement is strong and appreciated.  Likewise, we appreciate parent and student support in keeping our campuses safe by reporting activity that is of concern.  Please encourage your child to let a teacher or administrator know if a situation exists which could ever place them or others in danger.