Former Taneytown Police Chief Enters Guilty Plea To Possession Of A Machine Gun

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on June 14th.


Baltimore, Md (KM). A  plea was entered Tuesday in US District Court in Baltimore by the former Police Chief of Taneytown. William Tyler, 55, pleaded guilty to illegal transfer and possession of a machine gun. “He caused two machine guns to be transferred from the Police Department’s armory to himself and another officer for their personal use and possession,:” says Robert Hur, the US Attorney for Maryland.

Hur says the transfer took place in 2017, and Tyler did not attempt to report the transaction to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as required by the National Firearms Act. “Barring some special circumstances that have to do with the age of the machine gun, federal law makes it so that firearms that fall within the federal classification and definition of machine gun, can be owned by governmental entities, but they can’t be owned by individuals,” he says.

On January 15th, 2019, FBI and AFT agents served a search warrant on Tyler’s  home in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and recovered the machine gun. Federal officials say Tyler told the agents he had never fired the 223-caliber machine gun and did not know it was automatic. When, in fact, he did, officials say.

Tyler is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14th. “The charge to which he pled  guilty is a felony under federal law, and is punishable under federal law by up to ten years in federal prison,” says Hur.

As part of his guilty plea, Tyler has agreed to forfeit assets from the transfer of the machine gun to his possession, including both weapons.

“We need to promote respect for the rule of law in our society, and that means the people that wear the badge definitely need to respect the law as well,” says Hur.


By Kevin McManus