25 arrested at Richmond hotel following SWAT operation Tuesday

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A two-month-long investigation into fraudulent activity at a Richmond hotel  — where several units were allegedly being used to carry out a number of crimes such as credit card manufacturing, narcotics sales and firearms trafficking — led to a major police operation Tuesday and the arrests of 25 people, police said.

A resident sent us the below photo from the scene this morning, alerting us to the major operation.

Search warrants were served in several rooms starting at 5:15 a.m. at the Marina Bay Inn & Suites at 915 W. Cutting Blvd., police said.

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It stemmed from information Richmond police received about the fraudulent purchase of numerous hotel rooms. An investigation uncovered evidence that six units in the hotel harbored mail theft, fraud, narcotics sales and firearms trafficking, police said.

“In addition to the crimes occurring at these particular rooms, a number of rooms were either fraudulently rented, or entry had been forced into them and occupants were trespassing within the hotel,” Richmond police Lt. Eric Smith said.

After an investigation that identified suspects, search warrants were obtained for multiple rooms.

“With the assistance of the RPD SWAT Team, warrants were executed in the early morning,” Hill said.

Police seized quite a bit during their search, including a credit card manufacturing machine, stolen mail and credit information, illegal narcotics, four handguns and an assault weapon.

“Arrests included charges from the previously mentioned items, unrelated warrant arrests and trespassing,” Smith said.  “Detectives Moody and Middleton were the lead detectives on this investigation and were assisted during the execution by CIS, SIS and the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office.”

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