Sylmar Man Indicted on Arson Charges Alleging He Set Hollywood Pizza Restaurant Ablaze During Civil Disturbances in May

            The feds charged Mario Ernesto Alvarado, 42, a Sylmar man with arson by deliberately setting Hollywood’s Pizzeria Mozza restaurant on fire during the civil disturbances that struck the city in late May. During the civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles on May 30, Alvarado allegedly walked into a commercial building in Hollywood that housed Pizzeria Mozza and its related business, Mozza2Go. Once inside the building, Alvarado poured a flammable liquid on the restaurant floor and set it on fire. Arson investigators determined that the fire caused $500,000 in structural damage to the shop, and $50,000 in fire damage to restaurant merchandise and property. At the time of the fire, the restaurant and shop were closed due to a curfew order. On June 29, the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department posted a press release asking for information leading to the arrest of several alleged arsonists suspected of starting fires across Los Angeles during May’s civil disturbances. A member of the public identified Alvarado  as one of the alleged arsonists, to court documents.

            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.

            If convicted, Alvarado would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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