BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore County Police Officer has been charged with allegedly seeking and taking bribes to falsely certify that applicants for Maryland’s handgun qualifying license and carry permits had completed the required training, officials announced Tuesday.

William R. Johnson, 32, of Baltimore, has been charged with honest services wire fraud.

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According to the indictment, from May 2019 until Sept. 2021, Johnson made bribes and kickbacks through Venmo, CashApp, Zelle and other electronic funds transfer services from applicants in exchange for him falsely certifying to Maryland State Police that they had completed the required training.

The six-count indictment alleges that Johnson communicated with applicants and arranged payments through a messaging app. Officials said he charged $100 for an HQL certification and between $150 and $200 for a CCW certification. Johnson would make it clear that once they paid, he would send the required documentation and they would not have to attend the required classes.

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Authorities said he would send applicants “Certified Qualification Score Sheet” falsely certifying that the applicant completed the required training and they would submit those forms as part of their application.

The indictment alleges that Johnson received six payments from five individuals seeking to obtain an HQL, a CCW, or both an HQL and CCW. Since, April 29, 2019, Johnson has certified at least 100 applicants for handgun qualification licenses and at least 45 for wear and carry permits.

Johnson is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore tomorrow, Oct. 27 at 3:45 p.m. If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each of six counts of honest services wire fraud.

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CBS Baltimore Staff