The four suspects arrested in a Denver hotel raid that uncovered 16 long guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition have been pictured for the first time – as one of them claimed the situation is a ‘giant misunderstanding’ and said he believes group were planning on selling the weapons.
Authorities raided two rooms at the Maven Hotel, which is a block from Coors Field where the All-Star game will be held, on Friday night after receiving a tip from a maid who spotted a rifle while cleaning one of the rooms.
Richard Platt, 42; Ricardo Rodriguez, 44; Gabriel Rodriguez, 48; and Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43, were all taken into custody and charged with weapons and drug offenses.
The three men, who all have lengthy criminal histories in Colorado, are each charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Serikawa, the only woman who was arrested, is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and a warrant from another jurisdiction.
Police have released few details about the arrests or the ongoing investigation. They have also not disclosed how, if at all, the four suspects knew each other.
Richard Platt, 42; Ricardo Rodriguez, 44; Gabriel Rodriguez, 48; and Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43, (left to right, top to bottom) were all taken into custody and charged with weapons and drug offenses
Ricardo Rodriguez told CBS Denver in a jail interview on Sunday that he had only met Richard Platt last Thursday through mutual friends when he arrived in the city from Washington state.
It is believed that the hotel rooms that were raided belonged to Platt and Ricardo Rodriguez. Ricardo admitted during the jail interview to having a handgun and AK-47 in his room.
Ricardo said there was a haul of weapons inside Platts’ hotel room.
‘They had quite a bit. They had a sniper rifle, probably two of them. Three mid-sized assault rifles, AK-47s. Probably another short-entry weapon. Numerous firearms ranging from 9mm to 40mm,’ he said.
‘He said he was collecting them for his friends. He had a lot of guns… I don’t know what his intentions were.
‘My understanding is he was going to be selling them, trading them, that’s about it.’
Rodriguez said he builds guns and donates them to military veterans.
Despite initial fears of a Las Vegas-style mass shooting given the stash of guns and close proximity to Coors Park, Ricardo claimed he went to Platt’s hotel room because he wanted tickets to the MLB game and that he had no knowledge of any plans to target the stadium.
‘There is no way I would allow anybody that I knew to actively shoot into a crowd with women and children and families. There is no way whatsoever,’ Ricardo said.
‘I can tell you, if I had have seen (Platts) preparing for something like that I would have intervened, absolutely. There’s no way I would have let something like that happen.’
Stephen Paddock, 64, killed 60 people when he fired from his Mandalay Bay Hotel room onto a county music crowd below on the Las Vegas Strip in October 2017.
Richard Platt, 42; (left) Gabriel Rodriguez, 48; Ricardo Rodriguez, 44; (right) Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43, were all charged following the raid on the Maven Hotel in Denver on Friday night
Authorities raided two rooms at the Maven Hotel, which is a block from Coors Field where the All-Star game will be held, after receiving a tip from a maid who spotted a rifle while cleaning one of the rooms. One of the men is pictured being escorted from the hotel
The three men, who all have criminal histories in Colorado, are each charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender, as well as other charges. One of the three men is pictured being detained in the lobby of the hotel
Police uncovered a haul of 16 long guns, body armor and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. They also found drugs and a stash of cash inside the hotel rooms
Piles of cash are seen on the floor as officers combed the room on Friday for evidence
The FBI on Sunday said they did not believe the arrests were connected to Tuesday’s MLB All-Star game.
Law enforcement sources have said the raids are likely linked to the exchange of weapons and drugs.
‘We have no reason to believe this incident was connected to terrorism or a threat directed at the All-Star Game,’ the FBI said. ‘We are not aware of any threat to the All-Star Game events, venues, players, or the community at this time.’
It comes after sources told Denver Channel that one of the men who was arrested had posted on Facebook about wanting to ‘go out in a big way’.
The exact context of that message was not immediately clear.
Platt, who works in construction and has a son, has a criminal history that dates back to 1998 and relates to a prohibited use of a weapon charge. He also has previous convictions on weapons and drugs charges, receiving stolen property, theft and assault.
Gabriel Rodriguez has past felony drug convictions and several misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1993. Ricardo Rodriguez, who is of no relation, has a felony fraud conviction and a misdemeanor drug conviction that dates back to 1996.
The Maven hotel in Denver is seen on Sunday, after the raid on Friday night
Platt faced court on Sunday and was held on a $50,000 bond. The other three will face court on Monday.
He had pleaded with the judge to allow him to be released, citing a new job.
‘I do have a brand new job… and I’ve made every court date on my last cases. I made every one. I have not missed any court dates,’ he said.
A SWAT team had descended on the hotel on Friday night after receiving the tip and footage taken by witnesses showed at least two of the four being taken into custody.
Police uncovered a haul of 16 long guns, body armor and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. They also found drugs and a stash of cash.
Mayor Michael Hancock and police Chief Paul Pazen praised the hotel’s staff for alerting authorities and sought to ease any concerns that the area around the ballpark is unsafe.
They declined to say what, if anything, the suspects were planning to do with the firearms.
‘We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s what the investigation is all about,’ Pazen said during a news conference.
‘We need to identify exactly, to the extent possible, why (the) individuals were here in the first place, why (the) proximity to downtown. We don’t have those answers.’
Coors Field will host the All-Star Game on Tuesday but festivities have been underway in and around the ballpark and downtown for the past several days.
Police said in a statement that visitors should always be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious or illegal behavior.