The crest of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A machine gun for a police department in a small town may seem excessive. But when the number of machine guns for that same small police department grows to 90 it becomes suspicious.

Federal prosecutors last week indicted Bradley Wendt, 46, the chief of police of Adair, Iowa, a town with a population of 800. Wendt was charged with making false statements to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and exploiting his position.

Prosecutors said Wendt would resell the machine guns for profit in the gun store he owned and a friend's gun store.

The Department of Justice issued a press release Thursday that said Wendt "exploited his position as the Adair Chief of Police to acquire ten machine guns purportedly for the official duties and responsibilities of the Adair Police Department, but later resold several of those machine guns at a significant profit."

Local CBS affiliate KCCI 8 Des Monies reported Wendt was first put on paid leave in September after ATF and FBI agents raided his city hall office, as well as BW Outfitters, one of the gun stores he owns.

The press release also said Wendt used his power and influence to obtain machine guns for Williams Contracting LLC, a federal firearms license operated by Wendt's friend, Robert Williams. In false documents, Wendt said he would demonstrate each gun for possible purchase for the police department.

The report said between July 2018 to August 2022, Wendt obtained 90 machine guns and that Williams and Wendt would host machine gun shooting events where they would charge customers to fire the weapons. Wendt and Williams also sought to stockpile the guns and sell them at their gun stores.

"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," Fred Winston, ATF Special Agent in Charge from the Kansas City Field Division, said in the statement. "Today's indictment is the result of seamless collaboration by ATF and our law enforcement partners."

The indictment states the guns were fully automated weapons not available to the public, including an M60 machine gun used by the military during the Vietnam War. Wendt reportedly mounted the M60 on the roof of his personal armored Humvee, the Des Moines Register reports.

Wendt also reportedly requested an M134 rotary gun typically mounted on helicopters. The ATF denied the request. The Adair police department does not own a helicopter.

Wendt is charged with 18 counts of making a false statement to ATF and one count of illegally possessing a machine gun. Williams is charged with three counts of making a false statement and aiding and abetting a false statement to ATF. If convicted, Wendt could face 10 years in prison, and Williams could face five years.