Former Md. Police Chief Going To Prison For Transferring, Possessing A Machine Gun

He will also be placed on supervised release after getting out.


Baltimore, Md (KM) It’s off to prison for a former Taneytown Police Chief who illegally transferred and possessed a machine gun. In US District Court in Baltimore  on Tuesday, William Tyler, 56, of Fairfield, Pa. was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison. After he gets out, Tyler will be placed on three-years of supervised probation.

According to his guilty plea, Tyler in 2017 transferred two department-owned machine guns to himself and another officer for personal use. “In order to paper over the transaction and to make it look like it was legitimate, he created documents  that made it look like each of these guns were being sold to him by the department for $100 each,” says Robert K. Hur, the US Attorney for Maryland. “In actuality, according to AFT experts, each of these guns, because they are machine guns and they’re very difficult to own legally, the price they command on the market are very high. They’re  actually valued at $10,000 each. So those bills of sale were phony.”

Hur also says Tyler made no attempt to report the transfer of these machine guns to the AFT’s National Firearms Act Division, which is responsible tor maintaining and registering transfer information about these types of weapons.

In January, 2019, federal law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Tyler’s home and the home of the other officer who purchased the machine guns. Both weapons were recovered.

Hur says Tyler was interviewed by AFT and FBI agents. He said Tyler lied to FBI and AFT agents, even though he was told about the consequences. “He said that he never fired the machine gun that was discovered when agents executed a search warrant at his resident. And he also said he didn’t know the gun was automatic. Both of those were lies,” says Hur. “When you talk to federal agents and you tell lies, you’re simply digging yourself into a deeper hole.”

There are restrictions for citizens who own machine guns, according to Hur. “Under the law, if you’re going to come into possession of one of these things, you need to make sure you’re complying with federal law and reporting the fact that you’ve come into possession of one of these machine guns to AFT. And Mr. Tyler did not do that by which he broke federal law,” he says.

As part of his sentence, Tyler must forfeit any assets obtained as a result of, or used to facilitate,  the commission of his illegal activities, including the two machine guns he illegally transferred and possessed, according to the US Attorney’s Office.,

“Crimes like this that are committed by public officials, including law enforcement officers, are particularly unfortunate because oftentimes they can cause members of the community to have less trust in police officers, and that is the last thing we need right now,” Hur says.



By Kevin McManus