Crime & Courts

Former lawman charged with having stolen machine gun, lying about it to feds

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A former Kansas law enforcement officer is facing federal charges for allegedly having a stolen machine gun and lying to a federal investigator about it.

Robert W. Doty, 59, who worked for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, was indicted by a grand jury on three counts: possession of a stolen firearm, illegal possession of a machine gun and making a false statement during a federal investigation. A four-page indictment listing the charges was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

According to the indictment, Doty told a special agent with the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives earlier this month that he took the machine gun in June 2016 - nearly two years ago - to clean it. But, he told the special agent, he returned it after about 2 1/2 weeks "by placing it on a couch" near then-Hamilton County Sheriff Richard Garza's office. He also told the special agent that he "never saw it after that," the indictment says.

In fact, the indictment alleges, Doty left the gun at a friend's home. It was recovered there on March 2.

The gun Doty is accused of having and lying about is an UZI 9mm-caliber carbine machine gun. He has to forfeit it, a gray gun case and four magazines, the indictment says. The indictment does not say who owned the gun.

Doty could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. There was no defense attorney listed for him in court records.

Current Hamilton County Sheriff Mike Wilson did not immediately return a phone message seeking information about the length of Doty's employment or his position. Hamilton County is in southwest Kansas along the Colorado border.

Doty's law enforcement certification was revoked in February, according to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer's Standards and Training's website. That means he can no longer work as a law enforcement officer in Kansas.

Prosecutors have asked that Doty's trial be held in Wichita, according to court records.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker