October 12, 2018
Sheriff's Deputy Who Stole An Uzi Sentenced To One Year In Prison

Former Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Doty, 60, agreed to a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's office in Kansas this week. Doty was charged earlier in the year with lying to federal investigators about the disappearance of an Uzi submachine gun from the law enforcement agency that he was previously employed with.

A grand jury indicted Doty in March of this year with three separate counts, reported the Topeka Capital-Journal — one for possession of a stolen firearm, another for illegal possession of a firearm, and the last charge of lying to federal investigators with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Stephen McAllister, and Doty's legal counsel agreed on a plea deal this week. Doty was sentenced for just one of the charges -- of lying to investigators. As part of his plea deal, Doty will serve one year and one day in a federal prison.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department originally requested help in finding the weapon when they first noticed it went missing. Agents from the ATF questioned Doty about the Uzi's whereabouts, after which Doty admitted to them that he had indeed grabbed the gun — but he hadn't stolen it, he told them, as reported by the Wichita Eagle.

An unidentified individual holds an Uzi submachine gun.
Getty Images | David Silverman

Doty told ATF officials that he had grabbed the gun from the department, taking it out so that he could clean it and test it on the firing range. He then said that he had returned it to the sheriff's office, where he claimed that he had left it on a couch.

That story didn't hold up, and it was determined that Doty had taken the Uzi himself, bringing it to the home of a friend of his rather than testing it and returning it to the department as he had claimed. The gun was discovered at the friend's house on March 2.

Earlier in the year, in February, Doty had his certification as a law enforcement officer revoked.

The gun that Doty had stolen, the Uzi submachine gun, was developed by Uziel Gal -- an Israeli army officer -- following the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. At the time the weapon was revolutionary -- being small, easy to load, and accurate in its precision, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

The purchase of an Uzi, or any other fully-automatic weapon like it, is illegal in the United States except for very rare circumstances, according to reporting from the Washington Examiner. In certain circumstances, ownership of automatic weapons purchased previous to Reagan's 1986 ban remains legal, however.