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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Alabama

Monday, January 11, 2016

Former Police Chief Convicted of Selling Ammunition to Illegal Alien

       Montgomery, Ala. – The former Chief of Police for the town of Franklin, Alabama, was convicted of selling ammunition to an illegal alien after a three-day jury trial in federal court last week, announced George L. Beck, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.

       The evidence presented at trial showed that Michael T. Clements (57) ran a side business out of his home selling computers, iPhones, flat screen TV’s, and various other items while working as the Franklin Police Chief.  Franklin is a small community located near Tuskegee in Macon County.  Clements became the target of a federal investigation after the FBI, working with the Auburn Police Department, received information that he was selling stolen property and firearms.  Through the use of a confidential informant, the FBI was able to purchase a stolen laptop and obtain a video of Clements brokering the sale of a firearm and ammunition to an illegal alien. 

       At trial, the evidence revealed that Clements negotiated the sale of a firearm to a Mexican national illegally in the country even after the alien had provided Clements with an identification card written entirely in Spanish and issued by a Mexican governmental entity.  The evidence further proved that Clements then sold the ammunition after the alien told him that he attempted to purchase ammunition for the gun at a store, but could not do so because he was in the country illegally. 

       “For citizens to have confidence in their government, public corruption cannot be tolerated,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck.  “As a public official, Mr. Clements was a guardian of the public trust.  Thankfully, an overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers honorably serve their communities every day.”

       Clements faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 28, 2016.

       The investigation of this case was a joint effort of the FBI and the Auburn Police Department working on the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force.  The Tuskegee Police Department and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation also provided support for this investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon K. Essig and John Geer.

Updated January 11, 2016