Ex-employee pleads no contest to threatening to kill Los Angeles-area hotel workers, guests

Rodolfo Montoya allegedly threatened to kill workers and guests at the Long Beach Marriott, and police found high-powered weapons at his home.
Image: Weapons, Rodolfo Montoya
This undated photo released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019 by the Long Beach, Calif., police department shows weapons and ammunition seized from a cook at a Los Angeles-area hotel who allegedly threatened a mass shooting. Long Beach Police Department via AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Phil Helsel

A former employee accused of threatening to shoot up the Los Angeles-hotel where he worked pleaded no contest Monday, prosecutors said.

Rodolfo Montoya, 37, pleaded no contest to two felony counts of criminal threats connected with the threat at the Marriott hotel in Long Beach, which is near the city’s airport, in August.

He was arrested after another employee reported the threats, which allegedly included threats to kill workers and customers. Police have said they found several high-powered weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his Huntington Beach home.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Montoya faces nearly four years in prison, and sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 27, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

A no contest plea is not a guilty plea, but results in a criminal conviction.

Montoya "had clear plans, intent and the means to carry out an act of violence that may have resulted in a mass casualty incident,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert G. Luna said after Montoya was arrested.

Court records list a public defender as representing Montoya. A request for comment was not immediately returned late Monday afternoon.

Police said they found tactical gear and nearly 38 magazines that hold 30 rounds each at Montoya’s home.

He was described as a cook who was upset about issues with human resources before he told a fellow employee of his plans, police have said. That employee notified staff and police became involved.

Long Beach is in southern Los Angeles County.