Richard Platt’s evasion of authorities since at least December came to an end last week when police arrested him and three other people linked to a trove of guns, drugs and cash found in a downtown Denver hotel.
Platt had an open warrant with an extradition order out of Douglas County related to an arrest for possession of a weapon by a previous offender. But an April police report detailing a contact with Platt in Boulder, where he lived at the time, shows the county jail refused to accept him into custody, likely because of COVID-19 protocols.
The contact happened around the time Platt was evicted from his apartment in Boulder for not paying his rent for several months, and court filings obtained by The Denver Gazette suggest evidence of drug dealing and domestic violence in the apartment.
However, it’s uncertain whether an arrest by Boulder police on Platt’s open warrant would have prevented his involvement in last week’s operation in Denver — sources familiar with the matter previously told The Gazette that investigators believe it was intended as a guns-for-drugs swap — because it’s unknown whether a judge would have granted Platt bail.
Court records show Lone Tree police arrested Platt on June 6, 2020, on suspicion of felony possession of a weapon by a previous offender — the most serious charge — contempt of court for violation of a protection order and possession of a controlled substance. On Dec. 17, a Douglas County District Court judge issued an arrest warrant related to the case when Platt failed a mandatory drug test with amphetamines, methamphetamines and cocaine in his system.
According to a police report prepared by Officer Brandon Mulhall, he and two other officers stopped Platt and another person with him on April 6 at Boulder Gas. The officers learned of Platt’s open warrant in Douglas County, says the report, but the Boulder County jail would not accept it him into custody on the warrant.
On Wednesday the Boulder jail’s administrative commander told The Denver Gazette their refusal to accept Platt’s warrant was “likely” due to COVID-19 jail custody protocols at the time, but on Friday morning he referred further questions to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department. The public information office did not immediately return subsequent calls and emails.
The federal charge Platt now faces in connection with his arrest last week are the latest entry in a criminal history going back to 1998. Federal court filings indicate some of his past felony convictions include possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, menacing with a weapon, attempted robbery and theft.
The property owner of the apartment complex where Platt lived got an eviction order in April after Platt did not pay his rent for months. Officers from the sheriff’s department came to the apartment April 7 to evict him, but Cmdr. Nick Goldberger told The Denver Gazette that Platt left the scene when deputies approached. He said because eviction is a civil process, officers enforcing one don’t typically check whether the resident has open warrants.
Exhibits in the eviction case provided to The Denver Gazette include evidence of possible domestic violence and drug dealing in the apartment, though the evidence did not factor into the judge’s decision. An email to a Boulder County official describes a “number of different … people in and out of the unit at all hours of the day and night,” and a series of text messages mentions a smell of “drug / meth use (sic)” in common hallways.
Another email from March says the sender believes Platt was operating a meth lab out of the apartment, and the person described seeing a man standing in a stairwell on and off that weekend as if acting as a lookout.
Platt’s arrest history shows Boulder police last arrested him in April 2020 for domestic violence and possession of a controlled substance. Records show he posted $5,000 in bond.