Police Arrest Four Who Had Large Weapons Cache Near Baseball’s All-Star Game
Four suspects were arrested in Denver, Colorado, over the weekend on weapons and drug charges. The group was staying at the Maven Hotel in downtown Denver, close to Coors Field, which is hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game tonight.
Reports from the Associated Press, Yahoo News, and the Denver Post paint a picture of a well-armed and tactically equipped group: in the group’s hotel rooms and vehicles, police discovered 16 long guns and several handguns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, high-capacity ammunition magazines, body armor and other tactical gear, and illicit drugs, including black tar heroin and methamphetamine.
We have no reason to believe this incident was connected to terrorism or a threat directed at the All-Star Game. We are not aware of any threat to the All-Star Game events, venues, players, or the community at this time.— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) July 11, 2021
A release from the Denver Police Department mentioned that the “arrests were the result of a tip from the public, serving as an excellent example of the critical role the community plays in public safety.” Media reports describe the tip that lead to the arrests as coming from a member of the housekeeping staff who saw several weapons in the room and informed hotel management. In addition, one of the suspects had requested to extend his hotel stay and requested an additional room with a balcony. Hotel management alerted the police.
With the MLB All-Star Game drawing large crowds to the area early this week, the threat has been compared to the 2017 shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas in which 58 people were killed. The Maven Hotel does not have sightlines into the baseball stadium, so the game or activities inside Coors Field were not in danger. However, the hotel is situated with a vantage of crowds entering and exiting the stadium, as well as of any celebrations that spill outside of local businesses.
Police affidavits used to secure search and seizure orders said, “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.”
However, in a tweet, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, “We have no reason to believe this incident was connected to terrorism or a threat directed at the All-Star Game.”
The suspects were arraigned on Sunday and the charges are focused on weapons and drugs, not on plans to commit acts of mass violence. One of the suspects, Ricardo Rodriguez, spoke to a Denver television station from jail and denied any plan to perpetrate mass violence or chaos. Talking about one of the other suspects who he said harbored a large cache of guns, he said, “If he would have actively mentioned something like that, if he would have said something like that, no way I would have let anything like that happen. I can tell you if I would have saw something like that, seen him preparing for something like that I would have intervened. No way I would have let something like that happen.”