A former Buffalo police officer who has had several run-ins with the law in recent years pleaded guilty Monday to a firearms charge in federal court.
Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Monte R. Montalvo, 39, of Buffalo, could face 15 to 21 months in federal prison when he is sentenced Jan. 11 by U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.
Montalvo pleaded guilty to felony possession of a firearm while subject to an order of protection.
The guilty plea related to his arrest in January 2008 by FBI agents, who said they found an unloaded handgun in his sport utility vehicle during a search the previous month.
Under the terms of a protective order obtained by his wife in 2007, Montalvo was allowed to possess a gun only while doing police work, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Guerra III said in court papers.
Montalvo was fired from the police force in January of this year, eight days after he was convicted in City Court of attempted assault and harassment on a complaint filed by a neighbor, who said Montalvo hit him and broke his eyeglasses. He received a sentence of probation in that case.
He still faces a state charge of committing a criminal sexual act in connection with a complaint filed in December 2007 by a female student from the University at Buffalo. The student, 19, alleged that Montalvo molested her at his apartment after meeting her at a fraternity party where he was working as a security guard.
"We expect that pending case will be resolved this week," said John J. Molloy, one of Montalvo's attorneys.
Montalvo was a hardworking officer for 15 years before running into problems with alcohol abuse and other "personal problems," Molloy said.
"He was a good cop with a stack of commendations, and he had some personal problems that he is now meeting head-on," Molloy said. "All of his problems were related to off-duty events."
The attorney said Montalvo collects a state disability pension because of four work-related knee injuries.
Montalvo told Skretny that he completed an alcohol-abuse counseling program last year and is doing better now.