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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 24, 2020

Mexican National Arrested For Being An Alien In Possession Of A Firearm During Denver Protests

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn today announced that Aurora resident and Mexican national Felix Missael Alva has been charged with being an alien in possession of a firearm.  Alva made his initial appearance this afternoon where he was advised of his rights and the charge pending against him.  The Denver ATF and the Denver Police Department joined in this announcement. 

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on May 30, 2020, a Denver Police detective was working in downtown Denver during demonstrations when a white Jeep stopped nearby him.  The detective was approximately 10 feet from the Jeep when he saw a male passenger produce a large black semi-automatic handgun, and from the open passenger window, heard him say, “This ain't no peaceful protest.”  The male pointed to the sky with his left hand and then opened fire into the air while a Denver Police Department helicopter and a news media helicopter were flying overhead.  The detective heard approximately 6 to 10 gun shots.  Another Denver detective and an officer were near the Jeep during this shooting and observed the passenger fire his weapon into the air.  The driver of the Jeep then sped off.

On June 2, 2020, law enforcement went to an address where the white Jeep was found.  The vehicle was impounded and searched pursuant to a search warrant for the Jeep.  The technicians observed protest signs in the vehicle as well as a large box of artillery shell fireworks.  Then on June 4, 2020, the Aurora SWAT Team executed a search warrant at Alva’s residence.  The Denver detective who observed the shooting on May 30th approached Alva and recognized him as the individual who fired a handgun into the air on May 30, 2020.  During the search, officers located a firearm and firearm accessories in a shed behind the residence.  The firearm found on June 4, 2020 has an appearance consistent with the black semi-automatic handgun that the detective observed being fired into the air on May 30, 2020. 

Law enforcement record checks revealed that Alva was not a native or citizen of the United States and that he had previously been deported from the United States.  In February 2010, he was deported from the United States to Mexico pursuant to a removal order.  It was determined that Alva had not made any lawful entries to the United States, and on May 30, 2020, he was present in the United States illegally.  As he was not in the United States legally, he was prohibited from possessing weapons. 

This case was investigated by the Denver ATF and the Denver Police Department.  The defendant is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dorothy DiPascali. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from Project Guardian partners.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.  Related court documents can be found on PACER by searching for Case Number 20-mj-114.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-454-0243 direct; 303-489-2047 cell
Press Release Number: 
Case Number 20-mj-114
Updated August 25, 2020