Iowa Police Chief Reportedly Lied To Get Machine Guns
A small-town Iowa police chief is facing federal charges that he abused his position in an effort to purchase dozens of machine guns, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
46-year-old Brad Wendt, the police chief of Adair, Iowa, and 46-year-old Robert Williams were both charged with making false statements to the ATF about whether the police department wanted to buy the guns, according to the Gazette. The FBI said in a statement that chief Wendt is charged with "exploiting his position as chief of police to unlawfully obtain and sell guns for his own personal profit." The Gazette reports that court documents show that Wendt purchased 10 machine guns for the department and later sold several of them at a profit.
Prosecutors also say that Wendt bought 13 other guns for his gun store by falsely stating to the ATF that the police department wanted a demonstration of each weapon. Wendt then allegedly helped Williams buy 10 more guns for his business by making similar statements, according to the Gazette. The two are also accused of holding public shooting events where people paid for the chance to shoot one of the fully automatic weapons.
The Gazette reports that officials believe that the two men were trying to stockpile guns to sell at a later date. Altogether, Wendt tried to purchase or demonstrate 90 guns for the Adair Police Department since 2018. Wendt's attorney had no comment. Williams's attorney told the Gazette that the ATF had approved all of Williams' gun purchases and that he hadn't resold any of them.