Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday that a retired Hempstead Police Department detective and Long Beach resident has been charged in an nine-count indictment with possession of a stolen handgun, perjury and lying on police paperwork after police discovered unregistered handguns in his home, including one that had been stolen from the Hempstead PD.
Rice said that in March of this year, William Fowlkes, 47, was arrested in Suffolk County and charged with physically abusing his wife, an inspector with the New York Police Department. Pursuant to that arrest, an order of protection was issued to Fowlkes, in part directing him to turn over any and all firearms that he owned.
According to the district attorney, Nassau County Police recovered four unregistered handguns from his residence. Fowlkes was eventually convicted upon his plea to a misdemeanor count in the Suffolk County case.
One of the recovered guns, a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, was obtained during a controlled gun “buy” while Fowlkes was working as a detective in October 2001, Rice said. The gun should have been retained as evidence in the gun-selling investigation. Instead, Fowlkes falsely reported to the Nassau County Police Department in April 2002 that he had arrested an individual in connection with that buy. No such arrest ever actually took place.
In addition, one of the guns Fowlkes was believed to have owned was missing, Rice said. Fowlkes lied to police about the gun’s whereabouts in a sworn statement, telling police that he had sold the gun to a now-deceased Hempstead Police Inspector. Fowlkes retired from the Hempstead PD in 2009.
Fowlkes has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, perjury in the second degree, falsifying business records in the second degree, official misconduct, and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Fowlkes faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Bail was set at arraignment yesterday in the amount of $10,000 bond or $2,000 cash. He is due back in court Aug. 10.