Federal prosecutors in North Carolina have charged a former Illinois State Police trooper from Yorkville with conspiring to steal and sell stolen military equipment.
Rafael Montalvo — who is also a former U.S. Marine — allegedly conspired with people in North Carolina to steal government-owned avionics and electronic testing equipment from multiple Marine aviation squadrons and sell them to others, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The illegal sales allegedly began in March 2018, prosecutors said in a statement.
Montalvo allegedly used managers with access to the avionics equipment to steal the items from the military installations, and then either ship directly to Montalvo or to people whom Montalvo directed. Montalvo was then paid for the transaction, prosecutors said.
A spokesperson for Illinois State Police said Montalvo became a state trooper in October 2019 and was originally assigned to District 14 in Macomb before being transferred to District 5 in Lockport on Aug. 16.
Montalvo was stripped of his police powers and placed on leave upon the filing of the criminal charges, ISP spokesperson Gabriela Ugarte said in a statement.
This investigation was led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service with the cooperation of the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigations, Ugarte said.
Montalvo is charged with theft of government property, interstate transportation of stolen goods, and conspiracy, prosecutors said. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if convicted.