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Denver police announce new partnership with federal officials for gun investigations

Julia Cardi - Colorado Politics | Published on 9/21/2021

Denver police announced they will unveil a new firearms-focused investigation team in collaboration with federal law enforcement.

The cooperation is to focus on people prohibited from having guns because of felony convictions and considered likely to have a propensity for violence, according to a news release

Officials will release more details Wednesday afternoon. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Police Chief Paul Pazen, Special Agent in Charge David Booth of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Denver field division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch will attend the news conference.

The news comes as Denver police try to make sense of increasing violent crime rates. Police have recorded 49 homicides this year as of July 26, the same number as during that time period in 2020, but those numbers represent about 50% over 2019.

Sources confirmed to The Denver Gazette this week that Denver police asked federal officials to take custody of three suspects arrested earlier this month in connection with a stash of guns, drugs and cash found in a downtown hotel a few days before the MLB All-Star Game. According to a senior city government official, police were concerned the suspects would receive pretrial release, so they put the suspects on a strategic hold until a federal agent took custody of them on federal charges.

The three suspects – Richard Platt, Ricardo Rodriguez and Gabriel Rodriguez – each face a federal charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. All have previous felony convictions.