Guns and Drugs Bust Near Coors Field: Dumber Than You Thought

The booking photos for Richard Platt and Kanoelehua Serikawa.
The booking photos for Richard Platt and Kanoelehua Serikawa. Denver Police Department
As Major League Baseball prepared for the Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 12, more details emerged regarding an incident that had threatened to cast a pall over the entire All-Star proceedings: the July 9 drugs-and-guns bust at the Maven Hotel, less than two blocks from the ballpark at 1850 Wazee Street, that became national news when sources told Denver7 that police feared suspects planned a Las Vegas-style mass shooting.

The Denver Police Department has now released booking photos for the four arrestees — Richard Platt, Kanoelehua Serikawa, Ricardo Rodriguez and Gabriel Rodriguez — as well as police reports related to Platt and the latter Rodriguez that offer no proof of possible terroristic intent and mainly reveal criminal stupidity.

Meanwhile, the Rodriguezes (who are not related) have been engaged in a veritable media blitz intended to portray them as not-quite-innocent-but-close dupes.

The probable-cause statement under Platt's name notes that at around 11 a.m. on July 9, Denver Police officers responded to what's characterized as a "suspicious occurrence." An unnamed member of the Maven cleaning crew had been tidying up a room when she "observed multiple firearms." She informed her supervisor, who discovered that the person who'd rented the first room — later confirmed to be Ricardo Rodriguez — had also secured a second one at the Maven. Staffers checked out the vehicle associated with the rooms, located in the parking garage, and discovered that they "could plainly see in the vehicle plate carriers and high capacity magazines."

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Booking photos for Ricardo Rodriguez and Gabriel Rodriguez.
Denver Police Department
At that point the cops were called, and upon their arrival, Platt, identified as one of the "occupants/defendants,"  quickly exited the room and headed to the hotel's basement. If this was an escape attempt, it failed, and Platt was quickly nabbed on an outstanding felony warrant out of Douglas County; multiple offenses in Boulder County are also listed. The probable-cause statement says he willingly spoke to police representatives after being read his Miranda rights, but his remarks have been redacted.

Meanwhile, Serikawa, who had her own active warrant out of Longmont, was ordered out of the room and placed under arrest, after which detectives executed a search warrant and found "a large amount of suspected ecstasy pills as well as heroin. They also located a large amount of U.S. currency and approximately twelve firearms in the room that both Serikawa and Platt had access to."

The Gabriel Rodriguez report provides more details, noting that the housekeeper had eyeballed "a rifle, along with what she believed to be numerous metal parts which appeared to be possible firearm components, and pictures of guns." The car was a white Mercedes with Idaho plates, and inside it was "a ballistic vest and a duty belt." Moreover, the room's renter was scheduled to check out that day, "but requested to stay for several more days and also requested another room with a balcony which overlooked the alleyway."

A key excerpt: "It should be noted that this information was concerning to officers due to the location of the rifle, ballistic vest, duty belt and requesting a room with a balcony coupled with the fact that the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game events [are] happening in the immediate area of the hotel. There is a propensity for mass casualty incidents in scenarios such as the above where many people are gathered together in a small area for a single event."

After the cops confirmed that Ricardo Rodriguez had rented the room, they observed another suspect, Gabriel Rodriguez, and quickly detained him, too; he's said to have been wearing "a black backpack which appeared to be abnormally heavy, as if it could contain a firearm or weapon." And indeed, Gabriel reportedly was lugging a "gray/black Kel-Tec 9mm semi-automatic handgun" loaded with seven live bullets. Also in his possession was "a large quantity of suspected Methamphetamine in a Ziploc baggie in the main pocket," "a black glove which was found to have a clear plastic baggie containing suspected black tar heroin" and "$1,120 in U.S. currency."

The suspected charges against the quartet are as follows:
• Richard Platt (DOB 1/26/79): Investigation of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (two counts), and a warrant from another jurisdiction

• Gabriel Rodriguez (DOB 10/2/72): Investigation of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute

• Ricardo Rodriguez (DOB 9/9/76): Investigation of Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender

• Kanoelehua Serikawa (DOB 11/22/77): Investigation of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, and a warrant from another jurisdiction
Individuals facing such beefs typically steer clear of the media, but not the Rodriguezes. Ricardo spoke to CBS4, claiming that he had arrived in Colorado from Washington state days earlier with the intention of moving here and had met Platt through mutual friends. Platt is said to have recommended that he stay at the Maven because of the excitement over the All-Star Game.

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In this Saturday, July 10, photo, a phalanx of Denver Police officers were lined up down the street from the Maven Hotel — to guard a baseball card.
Photo by Evan Semón
Ricardo claimed that he "designs and builds guns and then donates them to military veterans," but he still insisted that he was concerned by the amount of weaponry Platt displayed, even though he asserted that he was merely collecting them for friends with whom he traded firearms.

In a separate interview with Fox31, Ricardo maintained that Platt had thrown him under the bus.

Gabriel, during his own conversation with the station, said he'd come to the hotel to sell meth to Platt. "I thought I was just in here for meth, for the dope I got caught with. ... I understand I had a backpack with a lot of dope in it and a pistol, and I will take responsibility for that," he said of his bust. "But I am not going to take responsibility for something else I didn't even know was going on."

As Gabriel saw it, Platt was only interested in selling the guns, not shooting them at anyone, no matter what the Denver police may have thought. But if so, Platt picked the world's most idiotic time and place to do it.

Click to read the probable-cause statements of Richard Platt and Gabriel Rodriguez.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts