Julio Alvardo-Dubon and Rolman Balcarcel were arrested during a sting operation by police in Richmond, Virginia following a tip that they were planning a shooting on July 4
Alvardo-Dubon, 52, and Balcarcel, 38, have been charged with being non-U.S. citizens in possession of a firearm, but additional charges may follow
The suspects, both from Guatemala, have been living in the US on expired visas while working construction
Police released photos of a cache of firearms, seized from one of the mass shooting conspirators
The planned massacre was foiled after someone overheard the plans to attack the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, where an annual fireworks show is held and called police
Joint investigation by police, Homeland Security and FBI led to the arrest of Alvarado-Dubon on July 1
Police seized two assault rifles, one handgun and 232 rounds of ammunition from Julio Alvarado-Dubon during a raid on the house he shared with Balcarcel in Richmond
Balcarcel was placed under surveillance and was arrested Tuesday in Albemarle County
Police in Richmond, Virginia released a picture of a massive arsenal of weapons seized from a man whose plans for a Fourth of July shooting were foiled by police after a ‘hero citizen’ called authorities.
The Richmond Police department seized two assault rifles, one handgun and 232 rounds of ammunition from Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, who had planned an Independence Day massacre.
Police initiated an investigation along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI and Alvarado-Dubon was arrested on July 1.
A second suspect, Rolman Alberto Balcarcel, 38, was placed under surveillance beginning that day. He was arrested Tuesday in Albemarle County, near Charlottesville
An unidentified source allegedly, overheard a conversation between Alvardo-Dubon and Balcarcel indicating there was an attack being planned at Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, where an annual fireworks show is held.
‘One phone call saved numerous lives on the Fourth of July,’ Police Chief Gerald Smith said at a news conference Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Tracy Walker said both suspects are from Guatemala.
Initial documents filed in General District Court in Richmond say both Alvarado-Dubon and Balcarcel were charged with being non-US citizens in possession of firearms.
The documents, which say Alvarado-Dubon has an expired visa, did not include any details about the alleged plot.
Virginia police has released pictures of a massive arsenal of weapons seized from a man whose plans for a Fourth of July shooting were foiled by police.
Court documents say Alvarado-Dubon has lived in the Richmond area for three years and works full time in the construction industry. Bond was set at $15,000 on Wednesday and a preliminary hearing scheduled in Richmond on August 2.
Chief Smith said the two men lived together at a Richmond house. Officers raided the home, where they seized the weapons and ammunition that were in plain view.
Authorities have not determined a motive for the planned attack, but Gov. Glenn Youngkin praised the collaboration between citizens and law enforcement which enabled foiling of the planned attack.
‘l want to thank and applaud the hero in Virginia that stopped a potential massacre by alerting our brave Richmond Police Department Officers that work tirelessly every day to protect our communities,’ Youngkin said in a tweet.
‘It’s a great reminder that if you see something, say something to your local PD.’
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who joined the news conference along with members of the city council, decried what he called an epidemic of gun violence across the country.
‘Whether you’re at home in your cul-de-sac, or in your neighborhood, or in a park, or at a parade, out dining – you have to keep your head on a swivel,’ Stoney said.
‘And that’s not the country that I know I desire to live in … but those are the facts of the matter at this moment.’
Smith said the apparent plot was unconnected to another shooting that wounded six people in Richmond in the early morning hours of July 4.
Lauding law enforcement for the sting operation, which he said saved many lives, and the unnamed citizen’s collaboration, Stoney noted that ‘No community is immune. And this reminds us that this does not have to be our narrative. In Richmond or else in the country.’
‘Don’t know how he heard it, but he heard it and he did the right thing with the information.’
‘He put it into the hands of law enforcement and we are so thankful for him and numerous families and friends and loved ones are as well,’ the governor added.
The report comes at a time of national grief as the Highland Park community is still reeling from the mass shooting that took place during another Fourth of July parade. Seven people were killed and the toll of injured victims was listed as 47.
The shooter Robert E. Crimo III, a 22-year-old local rapper, has been charged with seven counts of murder and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, if convicted.