This story has been updated to correct the name of the township where Gallegos’ body was found.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A man arrested in the death of a woman whose body was discovered in Ingham County’s rural White Oak Township has had previous run-ins with the law.
The Ingham County Prosecutor charged Jacobo Montalvo, 57, with open murder and unlawful imprisonment in the death of 29-year-old Alicia Gallegos on Oct. 23. Shortly after, 6 News received an anonymous tip that Montalvo had a record in Texas.
An investigation into court and jail records in Hidalgo, Texas reveals Montalvo has been convicted of drug crimes and assaults.
In 2001 he was arrested on charges of possession of more than four grams, but less than 200 grams, of cocaine. He was indicted by a grand jury in 2002, and on March 10, 2002, he entered a guilty plea in the 389th District Court in Hidalgo County Texas. Under the deal, Montalvo is to pay $750 in fines, be on supervised community release for seven years and submit to drug and alcohol testing. If he completed the seven years without getting in trouble again, the conviction would be set aside. If he did get in legal trouble, he would face 12 years in prison, he was credited with 331 days served.
Montalvo was charged with aggravated sexual assault on Oct. 3, 2003. He was acquitted of that charge in a jury trial on September 16, 2004.
Before he was acquitted, he was charged with two counts of harassment by a person in a correctional or detention facility and one count of assault of a public servant. Following his acquittal, he entered a guilty plea to that charge and was sentenced to two years in prison. He was given credit for 77 days already served. He was not obligated to pay any fines and fees stemming from the case.
Montalvo did not make it through his seven years without running afoul of the law. He was convicted on Oct. 19, 2006, of misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury of a family member charge stemming from an Aug. 29, 2006, incident. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a year of probation on that conviction. But authorities also revoked his deferral and instituted his 12-year prison sentence for cocaine possession. It appears he was paroled on July 10, 2012.
Records show he was on parole until March of 2016.
Hidalgo County Jail records show he was arrested again in 2018 on charges stemming from a failure to appear in court in a 2015 case. The status of that case is unclear.
Publicly available website records show Montalvo lived in Pharr and McAllen, Texas for most of his life; and undetermined amount of time in Illinois and he has been in the Lansing area for about three years. Those records indicate he lived in DeWitt, although 6 News was unable to locate an address there.
He also had some minor traffic citations in Ingham County.
Ingham County Sheriff Department investigators tell 6 News they were aware of the criminal cases in Texas and are preparing to send detectives there in the next few weeks. They say they are looking at similarities in crimes Montalvo was charged with as well as those in which he was convicted to the Gallegos case. They also confirm they have asked the FBI to do an international travel background on Montalvo.
The Gallegos case specifics have been entered into the FBI’s Violent Crime Apprehension Program (ViCAP). That’s a database of details on violent crimes across the country. It’s designed to detect patterns in violent crime. Specifics in Gallegos’ case entered into ViVAP include that she appeared to die of strangulation and the medical examiner said there were marks on her wrists consistent with being restrained with zip ties. There was also a substance that “appeared” to be duct tape residue.
Officials from the Sheriff’s Department also confirmed that Montalvo’s DNA will be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) by the Michigan State Police when that agency completes the testing. CODIS allows DNA matching from crimes across jurisdictions and states.
Ingham County Sheriff officials tell 6 News it is possible there may be others who have been assaulted by Montalvo in the area and encourage those who might have had contact with him to call. They also say they executed a search warrant on a house in Lansing where Montalvo was living. That search, officials tell 6 News, turned up evidence that linked Montalvo to the abduction and murder of Gallegos. They would not specify what that evidence was.
Montalvo is scheduled for a preliminary exam on Tuesday in 55th District Court. Judge Donald Allen will be asked to determine if there is enough evidence to send the felony case to Ingham County Circuit Court.