A man authorities suspect is the ringleader of a group of suspects arrested after a cache of weapons and tactical gear was found at a Denver hotel sought an extra room with a balcony near this week's MLB All-Star Game, according to police.
Denver police released arrest affidavits on Monday alleging that Ricardo Rodriguez asked to extend his stay at the Maven Hotel and requested the additional room with a balcony after he was scheduled to check out on Friday.
Rodriguez was one of four suspects arrested on Sunday after authorities found 16 long guns, body armor and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in a hotel room, prompting fears of a planned "Las Vegas-style shooting." Police also found a high-capacity magazine, a duty belt and a ballistic vest in a car belonging to one of the suspects, according to an affidavit.
FBI said there was no threat to All-Star Game
The Maven Hotel is located in downtown Denver, two blocks from Coors Field, which is hosting this week's All-Star Game. Authorities made the arrests after a housekeeper told her manager she saw weapons, prompting an investigation.
An FBI spokesperson said on Sunday that “We are not aware of any threat" to the game or links to terrorism from the arrests. Denver police, meanwhile said Sunday that they would continue to investigate the incident.
They released arrest reports on Monday, with one of them noting a "propensity for mass casualty incidents" in similar scenarios.
“It should be noted that this information was concerning to officers due to the location of the rifle, ballistic vest, duty belt and requesting a room with a balcony coupled with the fact that the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game events happening in the immediate area of the hotel,” an arrest report stated, per the Denver Post. “There is a propensity for mass casualty incidents in scenarios such as the above where many people are gathered together in a small area for a single event.”
Denver police did not comment on Monday beyond providing the arrest reports. A Denver District Attorney’s Office spokesperson identified Rodriguez as the group's alleged ringleader, according to the Post.
FBI spokeswoman Courtney Bernal said Monday that the organization is no longer involved in the investigation because of the lack of an active threat to the All-Star Game, but will assist if needed, according to the Post.
Suspects face weapons, drug charges
Police arrested Rodriguez, 44, on investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Gabriel Rodriguez, 48, Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43, and Richard Platt, 42 were also arrested. Gabriel and Ricardo Rodriguez are not related. Platt and Gabriel Rodriguez face the same charge as Ricardo Rodriguez in addition to counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Per the Post, police claim in their affidavit that Gabriel Rodriguez carried a backpack containing $1,120 in cash, a handgun with a destroyed serial number, black tar heroin and a “large quantity” of methamphetamine.
Serikawa is charged with suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. She does not face a gun charge.
Suspect speaks from jail, says no violence was planned
Ricardo Rodriguez told CBS Denver in a jailhouse interview Sunday night that many of the guns belonged to Platt and that he believed Platt planned to trade and sell them. He said he was not aware of any plans of violence.
“He had a lot of guns, he did,” Rodriguez told the news channel. “I don’t know what his intentions were from my understanding selling them and trading them. That was about it.”
He admitted to having a 9mm pistol and an AR-15 at the hotel, but claimed he just "wanted to go to the All-Star show, wanted to be part of that."
All four suspects remained in jail on Monday, per the Associated Press.
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