Man police named in alleged July 4 mass shooting plot pleads guilty to unrelated charge

Posted at 12:26 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 10:55:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Guatemalan national pleaded guilty to illegal reentry into the United States in U.S. Federal Court in Richmond Thursday afternoon.

But, Rolman Balcarcel-Bavagas did not plead guilty to any charges related to a mass shooting plot that the Richmond Police Department (RPD) allege he and another man were planning -- as none have ever been brought and no mention of it was made in court Thursday or in court documents.

Back on July 6, RPD Chief Gerald Smith accused Balcarcel-Bavagas and Julio Alvarado-Dubon of planning a mass shooting at the city's Fourth of July celebration at Dogwood Dell. However, both men were only charged with possession of a firearm by a non-U.S. citizen who was not legally in the country.

No charges were ever brought in reference to the alleged shooting and in Richmond General District Court, when the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney sought to withdraw, or "nolle prosse," the charges -- prosecutors admitted there was no evidence to support RPD's claim of a mass shooting at Dogwood Dell (but there was evidence of an unspecified shooting at an un-specified location).

Smith has stood by his assertion that police stopped a mass shooting.

The case against the two men was taken up at the federal level by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. But, like in state court, there have been no charges associated with an alleged mass shooting plot. Prosecutors have said Balcarcel-Bavagas has been deported twice from the United States, prior to this charge.

Balcarcel-Bavagas will sentenced on Nov. 10 at 11 a.m.

His guilty plea was accepted following a roughly 30-minute hearing by Judge M. Hannah Lauck, who told Balcarcel-Bavagas that the maximum penalty for his crime was two-years, a fine of $250,000, one-year supervised probation, and the likelihood of an immigration proceeding that could lead to another deportation.

Lauck told Balcarcel-Bavagas she was ordering a pre-sentencing report to be done, which will look at Balcarcel-Bavagas' history and the facts of the case and determine what the sentencing guidelines should be.

She said she asked the report to be completed by Nov. 3 because the defense and prosecution indicated their belief that the guidelines would fall between zero-to-six months. If that was the case, Balcarcel-Bavagas' attorney said he would have already served six months by December.

Alvarado-Dubon is charged with possession of a firearm by a non-U.S. citizen in the country illegally. No next court date is scheduled for him.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

Man police named in July 4 shooting plot pleads guilty to unrelated charge Feds indict 2nd man linked by RPD to alleged shooting plot Richmonders asking for evidence after RPD Chief interview on mass shooting plot Richmond chief 'absolutely' certain police stopped July 4 mass shooting Richmond Councilor: Mass shooting plot should be 'scrutinized' Richmond CA declines to release dozen records related to alleged shooting plot Sen. Kaine 'puzzled' by alleged mass shooting plot in Richmond Richmonders demand answers about alleged mass shooting plot What councilmembers think of chief shutting down talks of alleged shooting plot Men accused of plotting alleged mass shooting waive rights to bail hearing RPD Chief wants to 'close all discussion' about alleged mass shooting plot Suspects in alleged Richmond mass shooting plot appear in federal court In alleged mass shooting plot, police say one thing, prosecutors say another Richmonders react to latest developments in alleged mass shooting plot Richmond Chief steadfast that Dogwood Dell was July 4 mass shooting target Commonwealth says there is no evidence of mass shooting plot at Dogwood Dell Mayor's office opts to withhold public records on July 4th mass shooting plot Dogwood Dell community feels ignored by RPD after alleged mass shooting plot Bond revoked for man police named in Richmond July 4 shooting plot Court documents: Dogwood Dell wasn't target in alleged July 4th mass shooting Tipster cited drug gang tie in possible July 4 Richmond plot What we know about the alleged July 4 mass shooting investigation in Richmond Richmond Police: 'Hero' helped save lives with July 4 mass shooting tip

A Hand to Hold 2023

Help find these kids in Virginia’s foster system loving homes

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.