RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — More than 24 hours after the Richmond Police Department (RPD) announced the arrests of two suspects believed to be involved in an alleged mass shooting plan set for Independence Day weekend, questions remain about the men behind bars.
Julio Cesar Alvarado-Dubon, 52, and Rolman A. Balacarcel, 38, both originally from Guatemala, were taken into custody on July 1 and 5, respectively. Alvarado-Dubon was arrested at a residence in the 3100 block of Columbia Street in Richmond by RPD, while Balacarcel was taken into custody in Charlottesville and transported to the Charlottesville-Albemarle County Regional Jail.
Each suspect was charged with gun possession by an unlawful alien, a class 6 felony.
Court documents obtained by 8News show that Alvarado-Dubon was granted a $15,000 bond. Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond, Colette McEachin, said that her office’s general policy is to release individuals on bond, with appropriate conditions, unless the person is a flight risk or there is a concern that they could be a danger to the community or themselves.
“The Commonwealth objected to bond,” she said. “Nevertheless, the General District Court judge granted a bond and decided on the $15,000 amount himself.”
According to a local bail reform organization, bond amounts typically fall between $2,500 and $10,000 for property and drug felonies, and $25,000 and $50,000 for more serious felonies.
Sources told 8News that Alvarado-Dubon, although in the country illegally, did not have a prior criminal history. His visa was reportedly expired by four years.
Documents show that he has a son living in the greater Richmond area, and had been a resident of the city for approximately three years. He worked in construction full-time.
However, sources also confirmed to 8News that Balacarcel had previously been deported twice. It is unclear whether he had previous criminal charges.
Alvarado-Dubon is set for a bond hearing on July 11, with another court appearance scheduled for Aug. 2.
“I know him from where we’re from, and I can’t wrap my head around why he would do this,” Alexander Chacón said in an interview with 8News translated from Spanish. “He was never violent or had weapons, so I was surprised.”
Chacón, from Guatemala’s Baja Verapaz department, said he knew Alvarado-Dubon from their home country, but had less contact with him when he came to the United States.
Prior to his move to the greater Richmond area, court documents show that Alvarado-Dubon spent six months living in New Jersey.
Sources told 8News that it is unknown at this point whether the suspects will be extradited to Guatemala.