Feds to take over case against two men accused of Richmond mass shooting plot

Authorities received a tip from a “hero citizen” that prevented the July 4 mass shooting

Julio Alvardo-Dubon and Rolman A. Balacarcel (Richmond Police)

Richmond prosecutors have withdrawn a case against two men accused of a mass shooting plot, according to NBC 12.

This comes after police arrested Julio Alvardo-Dubon and Rolman A. Balacarcel after receiving a tip from a “hero citizen” that the two were planning a shooting at a July 4 event at Dogwood Dell.

Now, the federal court system will take over the case and have charged the two with similar charges. We’re told both men were facing one count each of being a non-U.S. citizen in possession of a handgun.

NBC 12 also reports that judge David Hicks grilled the prosecutor who first granted bail to one of the men accused in the incident.

The judge claims he was originally told that the target and day in the mass shooting plot was unspecified.

During Wednesday morning’s preliminary hearing, Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney expressed to the judge that there was no evidence indicating that Dogwood Dell was the location for the reported shooting plot.

Judge Hicks says two of his children were at Dogwood Dell for the Fourth of July celebration that day, one of who was just 15 years old.

The judge is perplexed as to how he was given one account and then, a few days later, reports surfaced claiming that it was more sinister.

“I am asking you as an officer of the court and based off what I just told you, does the Commonwealth have information that either of these individuals were involved in something that could potentially have affected Dogwood Dell in the Fourth of July,” the judge asked Richmond Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Clinton Seal, “where I’ve advised you my children were present because I need to know that before I determine I can hear anything else on this matter.”

Seal said “no” in response.

The Richmond Police Department says it will continue to back the investigative work done by its detectives.

“Chief Gerald Smith stands behind the investigative work done by Richmond Police Detectives to stop a mass shooting planned for July 4th,” the Richmond Police Department said on Wednesday afternoon.

At this time, both men remain in custody with a federal hearing set to happen within the next few days.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.