A disgruntled hotel employee, who had an enormous arsenal of weapons stashed at his home, has pleaded not guilty to threatening to shoot up his workplace after a colleague reported the alleged plan to their boss.
Rodolfo Montoya, of Huntington Beach, California, appeared in court on Thursday accused of plotting to murder his co-workers and guests in at the Marriott near Long Beach Airport, after cops discovered his cache of high-powered firearms - including two assault rifles, a pump-action shotgun and several pistols.
Montoya, 37, allegedly told a co-worker that he was angry and planned to open fire at work on anyone who crossed his path following an undisclosed dispute with his HR department, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch heard.
But his plan was allegedly foiled when his colleague informed their manager, Imran Ahmed.
The boss then called the Long Beach Police Department who arrested him Tuesday and raided his home seizing the stockpile of weapons.
Montoya is due back in court September 6 and faces more than five years in prison.
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Rodolfo Montoya, of Huntington Beach, California, appeared in court on Thursday accused of plotting to murder his co-workers and guests in at the Marriott near Long Beach Airport
Montoya pleaded not guilty and is due back in court September 6 and faces more than five years in prison. He is currently being held on $500,000 bail at the Long Beach City Jail
Rodolfo Montoya allegedly plotted to shoot up the Marriott hotel in Long Beach, California
Montoya was allegedly plotting to murder his co-workers and hotel guests with his cache of high-powered firearms - including two assault rifles, a pump-action shotgun and several pistols - after an undisclosed dispute with his HR department
He is currently being held on $500,000 bail at the Long Beach City Jail.
On Thursday, the LA Times reported that his motor home was surrounded by yellow police tape and chain-link fencing with white tarp. Neighbors said he had lived there for three years.
One man described him as 'normal' and several neighbors said they saw and had small talk with him regularly.
Montoya does not have a previous criminal record.
Photographs released by authorities shows a haul of thousands of rounds of ammunition, shotgun cartridges and an array of handguns and rifles.
The volume of weapons meant he would have been capable of causing an attack similar to the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, which resulted in 58 people being killed and 422 more wounded.
'Multiple firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear were seized, including high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle, which are illegal to possess in California,' Long Beach Police officials said in a statement late Wednesday.
Montoya was charged with four felonies; two counts of making criminal threats, dissuading a witness, and possessing a Colt AR-15 rifle, which is banned in California.
'We have seen several tragic incidents that have resulted in many lives lost,' said LBPD Chief of Police Robert G. Luna in a press conference disclosing the arrest.
'The witnesses who came forward and the diligence of our employees involved in this investigation very likely prevented a threat of violence and saved many lives.'
'Because this was reported, I firmly believe many lives were saved,' Long Beach Luna told a news conference.
Rooms at the hotel start at from $224 a night. It has two restaurants and a coffee house on site offering breakfast lunch and dinner. There is also a gym and an outdoor and indoor pool.
General manager of Marriott Long Beach, Imran Ahmed, speaks to the media regarding the arrest of one of his employees
Thousands of rounds of ammunition are pictured following the police raid. LBPD were alerted to the potential mass shooting by a colleague of Montoya's who said the gunman had revealed his