An Indio man previously convicted of being an accessory to murder was charged Friday with possession of firearms and ammunition after allegedly being caught with a loaded assault rifle by officers who responded to reports of a brawl in downtown Palm Springs last weekend.
Phillipe Pavia, 39, was arrested along with Raymond Gomez, 33, at 1:25 a.m. Sunday, after officers went to the 100 block of South Palm Canyon Drive to check out a report of a fight involving "several subjects," during which a "firearm was possibly seen," Sgt. William Hutchinson said.
Police located Pavia and Gomez 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, the sergeant said.
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 Thursday morning at Pavia’s home in the 43600 block of Main Street in Indio, where they seized five more guns, ammunition and 110 grams of cocaine and took him into custody, Hutchinson said.
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.
Pavia, who’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail, pleaded not guilty to all charges Friday afternoon and will return to court on Nov. 30.
Gomez is due in court in January.