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Illinois State trooper charged with selling stolen military equipment

Rafael Montalvo allegedly conspired with people in North Carolina to steal and sell government-owned avionics and electronic testing equipment.

A man is accused of firing shots at another vehicle on the Dan Ryan Expressway May 7, 2021.
Former state trooper Rafael Montalvo is charged with theft of government property, interstate transportation of stolen goods and conspiracy.
File photo

Federal prosecutors in North Carolina have charged a former Illinois State Police trooper from Yorkville with stealing and selling stolen military equipment.

Rafael Montalvo, a Marine veteran, allegedly conspired with people in North Carolina to steal and sell government-owned avionics and electronic testing equipment from multiple Marine aviation squadrons, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The illegal sales began in March 2018, prosecutors said in a statement.

Montalvo allegedly used managers with access to the equipment to steal the items from the military installations and then ship them directly to Montalvo or to others. Montalvo was paid for the transactions, prosecutors 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., according to a spokesperson for Illinois State Police.

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.

The 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.