An Indio man who was arrested after a downtown Palm Springs fight in which an assault rifle was found pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of possession of a loaded firearm in a public place.
Raymond Gomez, 33, was arrested along with Phillipe Pavia, 39, in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 after Palm Springs police responded to reports of a fight in the 100 block of South Palm Canyon Drive.
Police found them in the parking lot of the La Plaza Center, where officers saw “an AR-15 assault rifle in plain view on the passenger floorboard” of one of the men’s vehicles, according to Sgt. William Hutchinson.
Both suspects posted bail after being booked into county jail on suspicion of various firearm and ammunition possession charges.
A follow-up investigation by the Riverside County District Attorney Gang Impact Team led investigators to serve to a search warrant at Pavia’s home in the 43600 block of Main Street in Indio days later, where they seized five more guns, ammunition and 110 grams of cocaine and took him into custody, Hutchinson said.
Pavia was charged last month in two cases, one involving the guns and drugs seized at his home and another regarding the AR-15. The same charges regarding assault rifle possession were filed against Gomez.
Pavia’s criminal history includes previously being charged in a 2000 Indio murder case, court records show. Another man was convicted of the gang- related killing, and Pavia pleaded guilty in 2001 to being an accessory.
Both men are slated to return to court Jan. 2 for a felony settlement conference.
–City News Service