Adair, Iowa – Adair Police Chief Bradley Wendt is facing federal charges for unlawfully obtaining and possessing multiple machine guns. A federal grand jury indicted Wendt this week.
KCCI reported that according to court documents, 46-year-old Wendt exploited his position to acquire 10 machine guns, purportedly for the official duties of the police department. He allegedly resold several of those machine guns at a significant profit.
Wendt also acquired 13 machine guns for his Denison-based gun store, BW Outfitters, through false statements to the ATF that the machine guns were being demonstrated for future potential purchase by the Police Department, according to court documents.
It’s alleged that Wendt also exploited his position as the chief to obtain 10 machine guns for Williams Contracting LLC, a federal firearms licensee operated by his friend, 46-year-old Robert Williams, age 46, of Manning.
Williams solicited false documentation from Wendt indicating the Adair Police Department wanted a demonstration of each of the machine guns for future potential purchase by the Adair Police Department.
Between July 2018 and August 2022, Wendt sought to purchase about 90 machine guns for the Adair Police Department, which serves a town of fewer than 800 people.
Wendt and Williams hosted public machine gun shoots, where they charged patrons money to shoot machine guns registered to their gun stores and the Adair Police Department. Wendt and Williams intended to stockpile machine guns to later sell at a personal profit.
“Brad Wendt is charged with exploiting his position as chief of police to unlawfully obtain and sell guns for his own personal profit. The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate and hold accountable those who violate their oath of office to enrich themselves,” FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said.
“This case demonstrates the importance of ATF’s vigilance in regulating federal firearms licensees and bringing to justice those who willfully circumvent federal law in favor of personal profit and abuse public trust. Today’s indictment is the result of seamless collaboration by ATF and our law enforcement partners,” Fred Winston, Special Agent in Charge, ATF – Kansas City Field Division, said.
Wendt and Williams are each charged with conspiracy to make false statements and defraud the ATF.
Wendt is charged with 18 counts of making a false statement to the ATF and one count of illegal possession of a machine gun. Williams is charged with three counts of making a false statement and aiding and abetting a false statement to the ATF.
If convicted, Wendt faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Williams faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
The full indictment may be viewed here.