High-powered guns recovered after SWAT standoff ends with 2 arrests

HSCSO: High school football players accused of stealing weapons

By Mark Boyle - Reporter , Mary Cuervo

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Two football players bound for college wound up in a Harris County courtroom instead.

Alton Brown and Avery Halliburton were taken into custody after a SWAT standoff Thursday night that lasted more than three hours. They're accused of several burglaries, including stealing high-powered rifles.

Both appeared before a judge Friday morning on charges they burglarized a home in the northern part of Harris County. The two just graduated from Jersey Village High School and were slated to head out of state to play football at Capital University in Ohio.

Instead they are in jail, accused of stealing several rifles and other automatic weapons.

"Mr. Brown then stated that he was with Avery the day that we took the guns. Mr. Brown gave an audio/video statement admitting involvement in breaking into the complainants home, stealing his guns and Mr. Halliburton was also involved," a judge read in court.

The guns were found inside a home in the 7300 block of Williams Street, near West Little York and North Houston Rosslyn. Harris County deputies were forced to get a search warrant to enter the home overnight when the person inside refused to let them in.

Deputies say eventually a woman, who is identified as Angela Gracia, came out of the residence and said her 14-year-old son was still inside.

After ordering the teen to exit the house, deputies say he came out and was placed into custody. He was later released to a family member.

Investigators went inside, searched the home and collected evidence, which they say included five AR-style weapons, a handgun, a large amount of marijuana and a gram of cocaine.

"We didn't get the target suspect. [But] we can make sure a lot of weapons are off the street today and that alone makes us pretty happy," HCSO Deputy Thomas Gilliland said.

Angela Gracia, 43, was arrested for making firearms accessible to a minor.

The man who is the subject of the search warrant is still wanted.

Brown and Halliburton are facing a charge of burglary.

Capital University released a statement to Local 2 which read in part: "Since we don't know the details of the charges the students are facing or the circumstances surrounding those charges, and since they are charges, not convictions, at this point it's inappropriate to judge and to comment....If students violate these community standards, we have processes within Athletics and the University for addressing those issues -- balancing the interests of the student and the entire academic community. Those consequences vary, but they can include removal from a team and dismissal from the University."

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