Mandarin High student arrested on gun theft charge

Jose Soto arrested again after bonding out of jail on gun possession charge

By Nicole Snyder - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An 18-year-old Mandarin High School student arrested Tuesday on a felony charge of possession of a firearm on school grounds was arrested again Wednesday evening after police determined the gun he had was stolen, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

Jose Soto was booked into the Duval County Jail on a charge of theft of a firearm about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the gun found in Soto's car had been stolen from a home that his 19-year-old girlfriend was house-sitting the weekend before school started. She did not know about the theft, according to a police report.

The gun belonged to the boyfriend of the girl's mother.

According to the police report, Soto was at the house Sunday and told his girlfriend that he needed a gun for protection because of a conflict he was having with another guy. While Soto was there, the girlfriend showed Soto where her mother's boyfriend kept his gun.

According to the report, the two then got drunk, and she pulled out the empty handgun, pointed it at Soto and demanded “in a drunken, playful manner that he have sex with her.”

The two had sex, and afterward, Soto went into the master bedroom and took the gun without his girlfriend's knowledge, the report said.

On Tuesday, Soto told an administrator and a school resource officer at Mandarin High School that he was having problems with two students at the school and then later told the dean and the officer that he had a firearm on school grounds, according to school officials and police.

.45-caliber Ruger

Soto was arrested about 11 a.m. Tuesday after the gun was found in his car on campus, police said.
According to the initial arrest report, the gun, a .45-caliber Ruger, had not been reported stolen.

Soto was booked into the jail at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday, and about 30 minutes later, Jacksonville police officers showed up at the house where the gun was taken and verified that the gun found in the car at Mandarin High had been taken from the home Sunday night.

A Duval County judge set bond for Jose Soto at $10,003 at a hearing Wednesday morning, and he posted bond at 4:27 p.m. Wednesday. He was arrested again just 45 minutes later.

At his first appearance on the gun theft charge Thursday morning, Soto's bond was set at $25,000. He will be arraigned on Sept. 7.

Soto's parents were in court Thursday morning, but declined to comment.

According to News4Jax records, there were 10 incidents of guns on school grounds and eight arrests in the 2015-16 school year.

During the 2014-15 school year, there were 14 such incidents with 18 arrests.

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