No bond for 2 charged in connection with alleged July 4 plot

Jul 11, 2022, 10:31 AM | Updated: 10:42 am
Richmond Police Chief Gerald M Smith gestures during a press conference at Richmond Virginia Police...

Richmond Police Chief Gerald M Smith gestures during a press conference at Richmond Virginia Police headquarters, Wednesday July 6, 2022, in Richmond, Va. Police said Wednesday that they thwarted a planned July 4 mass shooting after receiving a tip that led to arrests and the seizure of multiple guns — an announcement that came just two days after a deadly mass shooting on the holiday in a Chicago suburb.. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two men charged in connection with what police have said was a thwarted Fourth of July mass shooting in Richmond, Virginia, were ordered held without bond Monday during brief court hearings that produced no new details about the alleged plot.

Rolman Balcarcel Ac, 38, and Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, both from Guatemala, were each arrested on a single charge of possession of a firearm by a non-U.S. citizen after Richmond police said they received a call from a concerned citizen who said he overheard a conversation indicating there was an attack being planned on an Independence Day celebration in the capital city.

Authorities have said both men are in the U.S. illegally.

After receiving the tip, police seized two assault rifles, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the Richmond home the two men shared.

In a search warrant affidavit, a Richmond detective said the tipster told police that Balcarcel was planning the attack and showed him three guns on June 21. The tipster also said Balcarcel has connections to the Los Zetas drug cartel, which operates in Mexico and the U.S.

Balcarcel’s attorney, Samuel Simpson V, said Monday that he would be “very surprised” if Balcarcel Ac and Alvarado-Dubon were planning a mass shooting.

“It’s my understanding that these guys are from Guatemala and they’re just here to work,” Simpson said.

Simpson also expressed skepticism about the claim that Balcarcel is connected to Los Zetas. “That’s a non sequitur to me. That’s not a Guatemalan thing,” he said.

Simpson acknowledged that he has not been able to talk to Balcarcel yet and that he does not know yet what evidence police have.

The search warrant affidavit says that after police received the tip, they contacted Homeland Security, then went to a home in Richmond, where Alvarado-Dubon answered the door and allowed them to come inside.

Detective Michael Kiniri wrote that a second man appeared and provided a Colorado identification with the name “Rolman A. Balcarcel AC.” The affidavit said Balcarcel had two Colorado driver’s licenses, a Guatemala ID and a Mexico ID. An agent from Homeland Security Investigations determined that Balcarcel Ac has had two previous deportations, the affidavit states.

Both men have been held in local jails since their arrests, although a bond of $15,000 was set last week for Alvarado-Dubon.

Prosecutors had initially appealed the bond decision. But when Alvarado-Dubon appeared in Richmond Circuit Court Monday for a hearing, his attorney told the judge he agreed with prosecutors that the bond decision should be revoked because of a pending immigration detainer, a notice that the Department of Homeland Security issues to inform law enforcement agencies that ICE plans to take custody of someone.

Alvarado-Dubon’s attorney declined to comment after the brief hearing, during which there was no mention of the weapons charge or alleged plot.

Balcarcel was arraigned Monday via a video feed; he will also continue to be held without bond. An immigration detainer also has been lodged against him.

During a news conference last week, Richmond police Chief Gerald Smith said the tipster said the attack was planned for the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, where an annual fireworks show is held. Smith said police have not identified any motive for the alleged plot.

The announcement from Richmond police that they had thwarted an attack came on July 6, two days after a gunman opened fire from a rooftop during a Fourth of July parade in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring more than three dozen.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

3 injured in shooting at amusement park near Chicago

GURNEE, Ill. (AP) — Three people were injured late Sunday in a shooting at an amusement park north of Chicago. Three people were hurt in a parking lot outside Six Flags Great America in Gurnee when shots were fired from a vehicle, according to a spokesperson for the park, which is located about 45 miles […]
21 hours ago
A motorist pumps gasoline at United Oil gas station in Los Angeles Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. The avera...
Associated Press

Average US gasoline price falls 45 cents to $4.10 per gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline plummeted 45 cents over the past three weeks to $4.10 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the continued decline comes as crude oil costs also remain low. “The drop of a dollar per gallon has not been […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait to promote the film, "The Last Word" during the Sund...
Associated Press

Anne Heche, star with troubled life, dies of crash injuries

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anne Heche, the Emmy-winning film and television actor whose dramatic Hollywood rise in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil, died of injuries from a fiery car crash. She was 53. Heche was “peacefully taken off life support,” spokeswoman Holly Baird said in a statement Sunday night.. […]
21 hours ago
FILE - An iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. Facebook failed to detect...
Associated Press

Strike four: Facebook misses election misinfo in Brazil ads

Facebook failed to detect blatant election-related misinformation in ads ahead of Brazil’s 2022 election, a new report from Global Witness has found, continuing a pattern of not catching material that violates its policies the group describes as “alarming.” The advertisements contained false information about the country’s upcoming election, such as promoting the wrong election date, […]
21 hours ago
A Japanese flag flutters at the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo on July 29, 2022. Japan’s eco...
Associated Press

Japan ekes out growth as consumers splurge amid COVID surge

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2% for the April-June quarter from the previous quarter, the government said Monday, as consumer spending rebounded with COVID-19 restrictions getting gradually lifted. Japan’s gross domestic product, or GDP, the sum of the value of a nation’s products and services, expanded 0.5% from January-March, […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Second fatal shooting this month near George Floyd Square

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One man died and another was seriously hurt in the second fatal shooting this month near the intersection where George Floyd died in police custody more than two years earlier. Minneapolis Police spokesman Officer Garrett Parten said officers found two wounded men with life-threatening injuries Sunday afternoon near the intersection in south […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
No bond for 2 charged in connection with alleged July 4 plot