RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The history of two non-U.S. citizens accused of plotting an Independence Day mass shooting in Richmond is under the microscope, alongside the high-powered rifles and a handgun seized from the Southside home they rented.

Hours after Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith shared initial details into their investigation on Wednesday, July 6, a department spokesperson announced the men who were charged in the conspiracy are from Guatemala.

Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, was arrested on Friday, July 1 at the Columbia Street home he rented with Rolman Balacarcel, 38, after an officer in the Second Precinct received an anonymous tip from someone who overheard a conversation concerning Balacarcel, according to the department.

A representative for the department says the tip did not specify a specific location for the threat, but did mention: the Fourth of July, a shooting plan and Balacarcel.

The spokesperson says the reason Dogwood Dell and The Diamond were areas of concern was due to the large number of people who attend annually.

According to Smith, when officers arrived at the suspects’ home, Alvarado-Dubon opened the front door, revealing that a gun was in “plain sight.” A Spanish-speaking officer then asked Alvarado-Dubon if they could enter the house — he reportedly complied.

WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, was told two AR-15 rifles, a 9-millimeter handgun, and over 200 bullets were seized from Alvarado-Dubon’s bedroom.

Authorities seized two assault rifles, one handgun and more than 200 rounds of ammunition from a residence in the 3100 block of Columbia Street on July 1, 2022 after receiving a tip from someone who had overheard plans for a mass shooting in Richmond during the holiday. (Photo courtesy: Richmond Police Department)

At the time officers searched the home, Smith says there was no probable cause to arrest Balacarcel, but officers kept him under surveillance and he was arrested in Charlottesville on Tuesday, July 5.

“If he [Balacarcel] were to try any act of violence our officers would have acted swiftly beforehand. We were watching him very, very closely,” Smith said.

Both suspects were charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful alien, with Smith saying more charges could arise.

The circumstances of when the pair entered the United States is unknown, as is their connection to central Virginia. WFXR’s sister station awaits a response from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“We know what their intent is but we don’t know their motive,” Smith said.

Richmond Police acknowledged WRIC’s request for information about the possible registered owner or owners of the firearms seized, as well as how the suspects acquired them.

The chief of public affairs for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told WFXR’s sister station that the organization is “prohibited under federal law from providing trace information to anyone other than law enforcement.”

It’s unknown when Balacarcel will be in court next, but Alvarado-Dubon is due on Aug. 1 for a bond appeal.