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Cleveland-area suspects in custody after high-powered rifle found behind Detroit hotel ice machine

Posted at 10:29 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 11:30:27-05

Detroit police have arrested two suspects after a bag containing a high-powered rifle along with 30-round magazines were found behind an ice machine on the 28th floor of Greektown Hotel Tuesday.

In addition to the weapon and magazines, a bible containing a list of some U.S. cities was also found.

Chief James Craig said the two suspects were arrested without incident, however, there is another person of interest that they are currently looking for. This person appeared to have dropped the other two suspects off at the hotel late Monday night.

Additional law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, MSP, Homeland Security were called in for assistance. The situation is not being categorized as a terror threat, and may be related to drug trafficking, Craig said, which will be determine with further investigation.

The two suspects are from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, the chief said. They checked into the hotel Monday around 11 p.m.

On Tuesday around 7 a.m., a fire alarm was set off in the hotel, which could have been an accident or done on purpose, Craig said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The hotel was then checked floor-by-floor following the fire alarm incident. That's when hotel staff found the bag containing the high-powered rifle tucked behind an ice machine.

Police were notified immediately. Craig said that FBI were called to assist because it was unclear whether this was a terror threat or something less.

Surveillance video at the hotel was used to determine who placed the bag behind the ice machine. Craig added that the list of some U.S. cities posted in a bible gave him pause, as some of the cities previously had mass shooting attacks. Detroit was not on the list.

Craig said it was not the suspects' first visit to the hotel.

Chief Criag says it was in a bag with a bible and a note with a list of cities.

I’m live with details on @wxyzdetroit at 6. pic.twitter.com/58O82fbjuY

— Rudy Harper (@RudyHarperWXYZ) February 18, 2020

He added that it was initially thought that the fire alarm was a test to monitor the movements inside the hotel by the suspects, but quickly determined that the alarm had nothing to do with the bag that was found.

Police know the vehicle information and are working to locate the person of interest. At this time, police say it's unclear why the bag was placed behind the ice machine.

The two suspects in custody are being held on possession of a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, however, the men have not been formally charged.

A warrant execution is pending for officers to further search the hotel.