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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 22, 2020

Four Metro Denver Men Arrested And Charged Following Smash And Grab Burglary Of Arvada Gun Store

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that four defendants have been charged and arrested in connection with a smash and grab burglary at the Eagles Nest Armory, a gun store in Arvada.  The defendants were charged with conspiracy to receive, possess, conceal, store, or sell, a stolen firearm.  They appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge yesterday afternoon where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.  The ATF as well as the Arvada and Denver Police Departments joined in today’s announcement. 

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on April 28, 2020, Daniel Esquivel, Tristan Molinar, and two other individuals drove to the Eagles Nest Armory, arriving at 3:45 a.m. in a black Mitsubishi SUV to steal firearms.  The defendants forced entry through the back door of the store and stole twenty-one firearms in less than five minutes before fleeing the scene.  Daniel Esquivel then enlisted the help of Norberto Valdez-Esquivel and Víctor Valdez-Esquivel to sell some of the stolen firearms.

Ultimately, a law enforcement agent working in an undercover capacity was able to purchase three of the stolen firearms from Norberto Valdez-Esquivel, Victor Valdez-Esquivel, and Daniel Esquivel.  The stolen weapons were being stored in the back of a box truck outside Norberto Valdez-Esquivel’s Denver residence.  Daniel Esquivel, Norberto Valdez-Esquivel, and Víctor Valdez-Esquivel shared in the profits from the sale.   

On May 19, 2020, search warrants were executed, and two more firearms that had been stolen from the Eagles Nest were located within the box truck outside Norberto Valdez-Esquivel’s Denver residence. Daniel Esquivel, Tristan Molinar, Norberto Valdez-Esquivel, and Víctor Valdez-Esquivel were then arrested. 

If convicted, the defendants face not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. 

This case was investigated by the ATF with substantial support from the Arvada and Denver Police Departments.  The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Minser.

A criminal complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone charged by complaint has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.  The charges contained in the criminal complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-489-2047 cell; 303-454-0243 direct
Press Release Number: 
CASE NUMBER: 20-mj-00063
Updated May 22, 2020