RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Nearly two years after an armed robbery at an Ontario restaurant, a Fontana gang member found guilty of the crime was sentenced to 52 years.
Daniel Ruben Chavira, 23, of Fontana, was handed the sentence by Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court Judge Gregory Tavill earlier this week, having been found guilty of a 10 felony counts on March 14.
Jurors convicted Chavira, who goes by the gang name “Demon,” of robbery, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, false imprisonment and a felon in possession of a firearm.
San Bernardino County District Attorney spokesman Chris Lee said on Wednesday, who issued a statement about the sentencing, said Chavira also had gang allegations connected to the counts, adding to Tavill’s sentencing. Chavira will serve the time in state prison, said Lee.
At the time of their arrest, the trio was believed to have committed 12 similar takeover robberies.
They were arrested immediately after the Sept. 6, 2012 robbery when two Ontario policemen observed the crime, pursuing them until they were in custody.
Two other defendants, Julio Vega, 19, of Fontana, and Ronnie Buzenes, of Riverside, 24, had already pleaded guilty. Reports are that they entered Farmer Boys restaurant just before 10 p.m. that night. Chavira and Vega wore ski masks to cover their faces.
Chavira, who had used a stolen .380-caliber handgun, took control of employees and customers at the restaurant. Vega forced the restaurant manager to open the safe, according to investigators’ reports. Both men fled in a Toyota that was driven by Buzenes, said the reports.
Ontario police officers who had observed the robbery via a stakeout caught the three men after they robbed the restaurant at Francis St. and Grove Ave.
Officers chased the robbers into Riverside County where they got onto the eastbound 60 freeway, exiting at Country Village Rd. in Glen Avon before stopping. Officers recovered the weapon and the stolen cash. More evidence was found at the home of the three men, said investigators.
Vega received a 10-year sentence while Buzenes was sentenced to four years and eight months.
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