NATIONAL NEWS

Jury convicts Iowa police chief of lying to feds to acquire machine guns

Feb 15, 2024, 2:52 PM

The police chief of a small Iowa town was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday of lying to federal authorities to acquire machine guns prosecutors say he sold for his own profit.

The jury convicted Adair Police Chief Brad Wendt, 47, of conspiring to make false statements to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, making false statements to the agency, and illegal possession of a machine gun. He was convicted on 11 of 15 charges.

Wendt was indicted in December 2022, accused of lying to the bureau in official letters asking to buy the machine guns or to see them demonstrated.

Authorities say he bought machine guns for the police department, then sold them for an almost $80,000 personal profit. Trial evidence showed he bought machine guns for his gun store, including a .50-caliber machine gun he mounted to his own armored Humvee, using the letters, federal prosecutors said.

“In a stark abuse of the position of trust he held, Brad Wendt exploited his position as chief of police to unlawfully obtain and sell guns for his own personal profit,” FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said in a statement Thursday. “When so many law enforcement officers in our country are working to protect our communities and uphold the law, Brad Wendt did exactly the opposite.”

Phone messages left with Wendt’s attorneys for comment were not returned.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 14. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the machine gun possession charge.

Wendt has been police chief of Adair, which has roughly 800 residents, since July 2018. The city’s website still listed him as police chief Thursday. A phone message left at city hall was not returned.

Another man, Robert Williams, was also indicted, but his charges were dismissed last year.

National News

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Man trying to drown 2 children on Connecticut beach is stopped by officers, police say

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man trying to drown two small children at a Connecticut beach early Saturday morning was thwarted by police officers, according to authorities. An officer spotted an SUV parked on a beach in West Haven at about 2:30 a.m. and heard “significant screaming” from the water as he approached. As […]

12 hours ago

Jury convicts Iowa police chief of lying to feds to acquire machine guns