Former Baltimore County Officer Sentenced For Handgun License Bribery Scheme
BALTIMORE COUNTY - A former Baltimore County Police officer was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Friday for accepting bribes in exchange for falsified handgun licenses.
According to the Department of Justice, William R. Johnson, Jr., 34, accepted bribes and kickbacks amounting to $16,804 in exchange for falsely certifying that certain applicants had completed the required training for Maryland handgun qualifying licenses and wear and carry permits.
He will serve 18 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. In addition, Johnson has been ordered to pay a monetary judgment equivalent to the amount illicitly gained from the scheme.
Johnson, a member of the Baltimore County Police Department, also held a qualified handgun instructor certificate from the Maryland State Police.
Court records revealed that between May 2019 and September 2021, Johnson offered and received bribes from individuals seeking licenses. In return, he would falsely vouch for their training completion to the Maryland State Police.
Johnson openly told these applicants they could bypass the necessary training sessions if they paid him the required fee, the Justice Department said in a news release.
U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron expressed gratitude to the FBI and the Baltimore County Police Department for their diligent work on the investigation.