DENVER (CBS4) – Three of the four people arrested at the Maven Hotel on Wazee Street in downtown Denver a week ago now face federal charges. There’s still no connection mentioned with the MLB All-Star Game festivities which were going on nearby leading up to Tuesday’s game at Coors Field.
The three men taken into custody on July 9 — Richard Platt, 42, Gabriel Rodriguez, 48, and Ricardo Rodriguez, 44 — are charged with being felons in possession of firearms. Gabriel Rodriguez also faces a charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Authorities said they each have multiple previous felony convictions.
Authorities said staff at the hotel reported suspicious activity to police and soon afterwards a SWAT team moved in and arrests were made. After getting a search warrant, officers found guns in the hotel rooms rented by Platt and Ricardo Rodriguez. Gabriel Rodriguez was stopped in the hotel lobby while he was carrying a backpack “which contained a loaded 9mm pistol as well as significant quantities of illegal narcotics,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The arrest affidavit contains numerous photos of the guns that were found inside their rooms, including a sniper rifle.
Interviews with the suspects, according to court documents, indicated the men were involved in a guns-and-drug deal. Ricardo Rodriguez was quoted by another suspect as wanting to shoot people, but apparently he didn’t give any specifics about that.
The three men were scheduled to appear in federal court on Friday afternoon.
In a jail video call earlier this week, Gabriel Rodriguez told CBS4 “I was trying to get there and sell some dope and get out, and the next thing I know the SWAT team and everybody on me.”
The day before that, Ricardo Rodriguez told CBS4 from jail he arrived in Denver earlier this month and had planned to move to Colorado. He said mutual friends introduced him to Platt, who recommended they stay at the Maven Hotel, which struck a chord with Rodriguez.
“I wanted to go to the All-Star show, wanted to be part of that,” said Rodriguez.
He said he was armed with a 9mm pistol and also had an AR-15 rifle in his 8th floor hotel room. Rodriguez said he designs and builds guns and then donates them to military veterans. He said when he was in Platt’s hotel room there was an array of weaponry, which “concerned” him. Asked if he questioned Platt about all the guns, Rodriguez said “He said he was collecting them for his friends.”
After news of the arrests came out, speculation swirled about how the weapons were going to be used. Rodriguez said to the best of his knowledge, mass violence was not planned.
“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,” said Rodriguez.
Kanoelehua Serikawa, the fourth person who was arrested, is not facing federal charges at this time.