A convicted felon who allegedly brought an assault rifle into a Victorville restaurant after employees refused to serve him an alcoholic drink has been indicted on federal firearms and methamphetamine charges.
Francisco Alvarado Felix, 32, of Hesperia, pleaded not guilty today to the two-count indictment in United States District Court. An August 20 trial date was scheduled.
A superseding indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on March 6, adds one felony charge of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Felix initially was indicted in January on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
According to the indictment and a criminal complaint previously filed in this case, at around 1 a.m. on December 29, Felix visited a BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Victorville with his girlfriend. He attempted to order an alcoholic beverage, but BJ’s employees declined to serve him because he did not have proper identification. When restaurant employees later saw Felix sipping from his girlfriend’s alcoholic drink, the manager warned Felix he was not allowed to drink alcohol without identification and he would be forced to leave the restaurant if he did it again.
Felix left the restaurant and shortly returned. When the manager opened the doors that had been locked because of the late hour, he saw Felix remove a black rifle from under a blanket, court documents allege. Fearing for his life, the manager ran out of the restaurant after seeing Felix brandish the rifle. Felix allegedly tried to follow the manager out the lobby door, but the manager slammed the door on the rifle and grabbed the weapon. While the two men struggled for control of the rifle, a round was discharged into the ground just in front of the restaurant. Felix then pushed the manager to the ground and fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV, leaving his girlfriend behind to be interviewed by law enforcement officials, according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.
The following morning, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at Felix’s residence, recovering approximately 37 grams of methamphetamine packaged in two separate baggies. Officers also found in Felix’s Lincoln Navigator SUV a black Smith & Wesson model M&P – an AR-15-type rifle which had a 30-round magazine filled to capacity and one round in the chamber.
After his arrest, Felix admitted that he was upset at being denied an alcoholic beverage and went back out to his car to retrieve his identification, according to the affidavit. He also admitted to grabbing the rifle for an unknown reason and claimed he simply wanted to scare the restaurant manager, the affidavit states.
The felon-in-possession charge in the indictment alleges that Felix was previously convicted in San Bernardino County Superior Court for felony DUI and three felony possession with intent to sell methamphetamine charges.
If convicted on both charges in the superseding indictment, Felix would face a statutory maximum sentence of 50 years in federal prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.