Surveillance video from the restaurant shows Daniel Chavira, with weapon in hand, ordering an employee to the ground.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Nearly a year and a half after a robbery in Ontario, a Fontana gang member has been sentenced to state prison.
Daniel Ruben Chavira, 23, of Fontana, was sentenced Monday to 52 years in state prison by Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court Judge Gregory Tavill for his role in the 2012 takeover robbery of a Farmer’s Boy restaurant in Ontario.
On March 14, Chavira—who also uses the moniker “Demon”—was convicted by a jury of 10 felony counts and gang allegations related to the Sept. 6, 2012 robbery, including Robbery, Assault with a Semi-Automatic Firearm, False Imprisonment, and felon in possession of a firearm. Chavira is a Fontana gang member who previously served time for robbery.
According to Deputy District Attorney Tom Colclough, who prosecuted the case, two other defendants in the case, Ronnie Buzenes and Julio Vega, both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 4 years and eight months and 10 years respectively for their participation in this matter.
Chavira, who had recently been released from prison following convictions for Robbery and a Narcotic offense, elected to have a jury trial in his case.
Surveillance video inside the restaurant shows defendant Julio Vega grabbing the manager by the neck and forcing her into the back of the restaurant where the safe is located.
Statement of Facts
On September 6, 2012, at approximately 10:00 PM, Daniel Chavira, Ronnie Buzenes and Julio Vega parked a vehicle near a Farmer Boy’s restaurant located in the City of Ontario. Chavira and Buzenes were documented members of a Fontana street gang. Chavira and Vega covered their faces with ski masks and entered the restaurant together.
Chavira used a stolen .380 cal. handgun to take control of the employees and patrons inside the restaurant while Vega grabbed the restaurant manager and forced her into the back of the restaurant where he demanded that she open the restaurant’s safe.
The two robbers fled the scene with cash taken from the safe and ran to their vehicle that was being driven by Buzenes. Two Ontario Police Officers observed the robbery taking place and the suspect’s vehicle was followed.
Shortly thereafter, the suspects were arrested and taken into custody. Inside the suspect’s vehicle, officers located ski masks, gloves, and a stolen handgun along with the money taken from the Farmer Boy’s restaurant.
· Since the inception of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Gang Unit in July 2005, 8,532 cases have been filed across the county; 2 on death row; 4,683 prison commitments; 35,445 years + 240 life terms in state prison; 2,139 gang enhancements have been found true and 317 were found guilty by jury trial.
To learn more about the Gang Unit and high profile gang cases, visit: http://ow.ly/w0egs.