A hotel cook who threatened to go on a shooting rampage at a Long Beach Marriott was sentenced today to three years and eight months in prison.
Rodolfo Montoya—in handcuffs and a blue jail jumpsuit—said little during the hearing, answering only procedural questions through a translator before waving to three women in the audience as a bailiff led him away.
The 37-year-old pleaded no contest earlier this month to two counts of making criminal threats. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two other charges: possession of an assault weapon and intimidating a witness.
“As a result of these convictions, you are banned for life from owning or possessing any firearm,” Judge Richard M. Goul told Montoya. All the guns Montoya currently owns will be seized by law enforcement and destroyed, Goul said.
Police arrested Montoya last year after he threatened a coworker in the kitchen of the Long Beach Marriott at 4700 Airport Plaza Drive, according to authorities.
On Aug. 18, Montoya was upset about losing some benefits at work and told the fellow employee he “had a plan to go kill all of us,” the coworker testified at a preliminary hearing.
As he detailed his plan to massacre hotel workers and guests before shooting himself, Montoya showed the coworker photos of a “machine gun” and a “chopped up body” on his phone, the coworker said from the stand.
The next day, the coworker told his supervisor about the threats, and hotel management reported it to police, according to authorities.
On Aug. 20, police raided Montoya’s motorhome in Huntington Beach. They found three handguns, three rifles, a shotgun, at least a dozen cans of ammo and other tactical gear, according to authorities. Laid out on his bed was an AR-15 rifle, police said.
Montoya “had the motive, means, and intention to carry out a mass shooting of employees and guests at the Long Beach Marriott Hotel,” prosecutors previously wrote in court documents.
Before Monday’s hearing ended, Goul warned Montoya that the two crimes he’d been convicted of were serious felonies. If he’s found guilty of another such crime, he could face 25 years to life in prison, the judge said.
The women Montoya motioned to in court declined to speak after the hearing.
Support our journalism.
Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.