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Hough High on ‘modified’ lockdown for 40 minutes

Hough High School, the scene of three bomb threats in the past week, went on a limited lockdown again Tuesday morning, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say.

The school issued a “modified lockdown” order about 10:15 a.m., due to what a CMS spokesperson said was “unsubstantiated rumors” received by officials. The lockdown was lifted after about 40 minutes.

Under a modified lockdown, classes continue as normal. But school officials can limit activity in the hallway and also limit access to and from school property.

Three teens have been arrested by Cornelius police in the last week in connection with the threats.

Student Bronco Villafranca, 18, was arrested and charged Monday with perpetrating a hoax by use of a false bomb and conspiracy. Cornelius police also obtained a secure custody order for a second student, a juvenile. He will be taken to a juvenile detention facility, police said.

Police said Villafranca told them the juvenile had a suspicious package on Monday.

“We intercepted this package through investigative work before it was left for someone to find,” Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle said. “It was reported and expected to be fake.”

But Hoyle said the department still took precautions, evacuating the school and searching it for anything suspicious on Monday.

Cornelius Police, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Police and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police bomb squad determined that the suspicious package they found was not hazardous.

Monday’s phony bomb threat marked the third time in a week that students and staff were forced to leave the school because of a fake threat.

One Hough High student was arrested after two threats were received April 23.

Riley Bowlin, 16, was charged with making a false bomb threat, in connection with a threat received that morning. No package was found that time, but the school was evacuated later in the day when a suspicious item was found at the school. Police determined that the package was not dangerous.

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107
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