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3 men arrested in drug, gun deals at Maven Hotel face federal charges

Feds maintain currently no evidence of plan to commit violence at All-Star Game
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Posted at 12:39 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 20:29:39-04

DENVER – The three men arrested last Friday at the Maven Hotel in downtown Denver face federal gun charges, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Richard Platt, 42; Ricardo Rodriguez, 44; and Gabriel Rodriguez, 48, each face a federal charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and Gabriel Rodriguez faces an additional federal charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to the documents filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado. The three men are scheduled to appear in federal court Friday afternoon.

According to affidavits for their arrests, the three were involved in gun and drug deals that were supposed to take place between the three of them at the hotel, though Gabriel Rodriguez and Ricardo Rodriguez did not know one another.

The fourth person arrested, Kanoelehua Serikawa, is listed as Platt’s girlfriend, and he told investigators she was not involved in any of the deals. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant and for investigation of drug possession with intent to distribute but does not currently face federal charges.

According to the federal criminal complaints, 15 guns were recovered, as well as methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, fentanyl and cocaine in the hotel rooms and in a backpack Gabriel Rodriguez was carrying.

Platt told a Denver Police Department detective and an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he had connected with Ricardo Rodriguez through a friend in an effort to buy guns and that he believed Rodriguez was “a legitimate firearm seller.”

The two checked into the hotel on July 7 and went to each other’s rooms, where Platt told investigators Ricardo Rodriguez brought out several guns and gun parts and assembled and disassembled them.

The two went to a Bighorn firearms store on July 8 and bought gun bolts and a bag as well, according to the affidavit. Platt said he was setting up a gun purchase between Ricardo Rodriguez and a dealer named “Rocco,” and investigators found that he had also talked about a gun purchase with Gabriel Rodriguez.

Platt said he had bought the drugs found in his room from Rocco, and admitted to buying a rifle from Ricardo Rodriguez, according to the complaint.

Inside Platte’s room, investigators found at least eight guns and more than $10,000 in currency, along with meth, cocaine and other drugs, according to the complaint. At least three of the guns were found in Ricardo Rodriguez’s room.

Rodriguez told investigators he got guns from a woman in Idaho because he couldn’t purchase them because he is a convicted felon. He also said he bought parts to assemble guns. He claimed he came to Colorado for the gun sale and presented himself as an arms dealer “so that he could make contacts within cartel organizations in order to work his way up the ladder,” according to the affidavit, and also claimed he “intended on turning over the contents of his investigation to law enforcement authorities.”

Officers discovered Gabriel Rodriguez because they originally believed him to be Ricardo Rodriguez because he matched the description and was carrying a heavy backpack and acting nervous while sitting in the hotel lobby.

When he was confronted by officers, he said the backpack wasn’t his. Officers searched it and found a handgun, meth and heroin inside.

He told investigators he was at the hotel to sell a pound of meth and some heroin to Platt but also showed investigators photos Platt had sent him of guns, at least one of which Ricardo Rodriguez was pictured in. The complaint says Ricardo Rodriguez was “making guns for Platt to sell” and that Platt intended to sell Gabriel Rodriguez the rifle he bought for a profit.

As to the concerns over a mass shooting, Platt told investigators Ricardo Rodriguez “had mentioned going to Mexico and shooting people,” and had also “talked about killing people and putting people ’down’,” as the affidavit states, though Ricardo Rodriguez said he “had no intention of shooting people.”

“As previously noted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is currently no evidence of any intent or plan to disrupt or commit violence by these defendants in connection with the MLB All-Star festivities,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said in a statement.

The four people arrested at the hotel all appeared in court in Denver in their state cases and had their bonds set, but those state charges against the three who now face federal charges have been dismissed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The three men charged in federal court made their first appearances at 2 p.m. Friday. The appearance was short; the judge read the men their rights and scheduled next court appearances for Gabriel Rodriguez on July 20 at 10 a.m., Platt on July 21 at 2 p.m. and Ricardo Rodriguez on July 22 at 2 p.m.