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

Jul 10, 2022, 10:31 PM | Updated: Jul 11, 2022, 10:33 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.


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 […]
20 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.. […]
20 hours ago
In this photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from left, U.S. Democratic House ...
Associated Press

US Congress members meet Taiwan leader amid China anger

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Monday with a delegation of U.S. Congress members in a further sign of support among American lawmakers for the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory. Taiwanese media showed the delegation arriving for the talks, but details of the meeting were not immediately released. […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Susan Unterberg honored by MacDowell for her arts advocacy

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder of a leading grant program for women’s artists will be honored by the MacDowell artists’ retreat this fall. Visual artist Susan Unterberg has been named this year’s winner of the Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award, cited for her leadership of Anonymous Was a Woman. “As an artist, I am […]
20 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, […]
20 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, […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
No bond for 2 charged in connection with alleged July 4 plot