Former Pittsburgh police officer avoids prison and conviction in assault weapon case

PITTSBURG – A former Pittsburg police officer was sentenced to 6 months' probation after pleading guilty to 2 misdemeanors as a part of an agreement that required prosecutors to drop 4 serious weapons charges against him, records show.

Armando Montalvo, 29, pleaded no contest to 2 counts of obstruction of justice in March. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 4 charges related to possession and sale of assault rifles, records show.

Montalvo was sentenced to a brief term of probation that ends in September, based on court records. Montalvo joined the Pittsburg Police Department in 2015 and resigned in 2022 when the investigation got here to light. He was charged two years ago.

Montalvo was the primary of 14 Pittsburg and Antioch law enforcement officials charged as a part of a sprawling corruption investigation by the FBI and Contra Costa District Attorney's Office, but his case was only tangentially related to the much larger scandal. Prosecutors said on the time that they found evidence that he had illegally possessed assault rifles and sold them to another person while examining other officers' phones.

The other 13 East Contra Costa officers were charged with, amongst other things, bribes in the shape of alcohol to get out of traffic tickets, wire fraud, violent civil rights violations and drug trafficking.

The FBI also uncovered a parallel scandal still unfolding in Contra Costa. After seizing Antioch officers' phones, agents found quite a few racist, sexist and homophobic texts and memes in chats involving dozens of officers. This has to date led to firings and disciplinary actions against officers, the dismissal of dozens of charges and a rise in special circumstances in a multi-defendant gang case that was dismissed by a judge.

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