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Ex-Pittsburg cop avoids both jail and a felony conviction in assault weapon case


PITTSBURG — A former Pittsburg policeman was sentenced to a six-month probation term after pleading no contest to two misdemeanors as part of a plea deal that required prosecutors to drop four felony gun charges against him, records show.

Armando Montalvo, 29, pleaded no contest in March to two misdemeanor obstruction charges. In exchange, prosecutors dropped four felony charges related to the possession and sale of assault rifles, records show.

Montalvo was sentenced to a brief probation term that’s scheduled to end in September, court records show. Montalvo joined the Pittsburg police department in 2015 and resigned in 2022, when this investigation came to light. He was charged two years ago.

Montalvo was the first of 14 Pittsburg and Antioch police officers charged in a massive corruption probe by the FBI and Contra Costa District Attorney’s office, but his case was only tangentially related to the much bigger scandal. Prosecutors said at the time they found evidence he’d illegally possessed assault rifles and sold them to another person while investigating other officers’ phones.

The other 13 East Contra Costa officers have been charged with crimes including accepting liquor as bribes to quash traffic tickets, wire fraud, violent civil rights violations, and drug distribution.

The FBI also uncovered a parallel scandal that is still playing out in Contra Costa; after seizing Antioch officers phones, agents came across numerous racist, sexist, and homophobic texts and memes on chats involving dozens of officers. It has thus far resulted in officer firings and discipline, petitions to dismiss dozens of prosecutions, and special circumstances enhancements in a multi-defendant gang case being dismissed by a judge.

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