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

Jul 11, 2022, 10:31 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

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.


FILE - Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt, wipes a tear from her face during a news conference o...

Associated Press

Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son ‘dispose of a body’

The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if needed because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note shared publicly for the first time this week by attorneys for Petito's parents.

4 days ago

A member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, places flags in front of e...

Associated Press

5 things to know about Memorial Day including its controversies

Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members, but it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawn mowers.

4 days ago

FILE - This artist sketch depicts the trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, left, as he test...

Associated Press

Officers describe chaos, fear on Jan. 6 as judge weighs prison time for Oath Keepers’ Rhodes

Police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and public servants who fled the mob's attack told a judge on Wednesday that they are still haunted by what they endured, as the judge prepares to hand down sentences in a landmark Capitol riot case.

5 days ago

Pride month merchandise is displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., Wednesday,...

Associated Press

Target on the defensive after removing LGBTQ+-themed products

Target once distinguished itself as being boldly supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

6 days ago

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona television journalist announces bid for Schweikert’s US House seat

A former Phoenix television journalist announced her candidacy Wednesday for the congressional seat currently held by seven-term Republican Rep. David Schweikert.

6 days ago

Tortoise by Henry Davis earned an honorable mention in the "Adventures in Nature” student photo c...

Associated Press

When you adopt a desert tortoise, prepare for a surprisingly social and zippy pet

They’re not fluffy, they don’t play fetch and they certainly don’t roll over. But there is such a thing as a lap tortoise.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

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