COATS, N.C. (WTVD) -- A former police chief in Harnett County stands accused of being part of a group conspiring to illegally buy machine guns and other illegal firearms.
Matthew Hall, the former Coats Police Chief, has been indicted on federal charges by the Department of Justice.
The indictment said between June 2018 and March 2021 Hall and four other people from North Carolina, Maryland, New Mexico and North Dakota worked together to buy restricted firearms. The group allegedly told regulators the firearms would be used for demonstrations to law enforcement agencies, such as Coats Police Department.
In truth, investigators said Hall and the other suspects only ever intended to sell the weapons or keep them for their own personal use.
If convicted, Hall could face up to five years in prison.
Hall retired from Coats Police Department in 2020 after serving a full decade as the department's chief. He told JoCoReport.com that he was retiring to focus on his health and spend more time with his family.
"A lot of it does have to do with the health issues," he said to JoCoReport.com. "It was also the family. I want to spend more of the time with my family. When you get later in life, the more important thing you have is time."