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Former Taneytown Police Chief sentenced for federal machine gun crimes

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jan 28, 2020

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A federal judge has sentenced a former Maryland police chief to over a year in prison for illegally transferring and possessing machine guns.

William E. Tyler, who had previously been Chief of the Taneytown Police Department in Carroll County pleaded guilty last February.

Between November 8, 2017 and January 15, 2019, Tyler used two Ruger machine guns, registered to the Taneytown Police Department for his and another officer's personal use.

According to court documents, Tyler created a “Bill of Sale,” purporting to sell one of the machine guns to himself for $100, although records were never found confirming any payment to the police department.

Tyler didn't attempt to report the transfer of the guns to the ATF’s National Firearms Act Division, which is responsible for maintaining registration and transfer information on weapons in accordance with federal law.

Agents recovered the two machine guns after executing search and seizure warrants at Tyler and the other officer's home.

During an interview with FBI and ATF agents, Tyler falsely claimed he never fired the .223-caliber machine gun and didn't know it was a fully automatic weapon.

Tyler was placed on administrative leave on January 17, and resigned as Chief on January 31. He was charged four days later.

RELATED: Taneytown police chief pleads guilty to illegally possessing, transferring machine guns

As part of his sentence, Tyler will be placed on three years supervised probation upon his release.

He was also ordered to forfeit both machine guns.