A Huntington Beach man and former Long Beach Marriott hotel chef who threatened to shoot up his place of business pleaded no contest Monday to making criminal threats.
Rodolfo Montoya, 37, is set to be sentenced Jan. 27 in Long Beach. He could face three years and eight months in prison as a result of the plea negotiated with prosecutors.
Montoya told a co-worker on Aug. 19 “that he was going to shoot up fellow employees and people coming into the hotel,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said at a news conference announcing the arrest.
The co-worker told the hotel’s general manager, Imran Ahmed, who called police.
A subsequent search of Montoya’s home yielded tactical gear, a variety of weapons — including an AR-15 rifle — and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to Luna, who said Montoya was “upset about some recent workplace activity having to do with HR [human resources].”
Montoya lived in a motor home in an alley behind a cluster of industrial businesses along Jacquelyn Lane. Residents described the area as generally quiet, while neighbors said Montoya mostly kept to himself and that they would occasionally see him on his way to work.
Previous charges against Montoya of one count each of dissuading a witness by force or threat and possession of an assault weapon — a Colt AR-15 rifle — are being dropped as part of the plea deal, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Luna thanked Ahmed for coming forward and alerting investigators.
“Sir, you saved many lives — not only of your employees but any customers that may have been at the Marriott when this guy decided to show up and carry out his threat,” Luna said at the time of the incident.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Priscella Vega contributed to this report.