Sumter County deputy accused of selling guns to pawn shop

By Anthony Leone, Digital Media Producer
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 11:32 AM EDT

Sumter County Sheriff's Office deputy William Rappleyea has been charged with two counts of grand theft after being accused of selling guns loaned to him to pawn shops, authorities stated.

  • William Rappleyea says he sold guns to pay for debts: report 
  • Search for 4 remaining guns continued

The 42-year-old Bushnell man is facing grand theft of a firearm and violation of the pawn broker's act and was given a $6,000 bond, according to a Sumter County Sheriff's Office arrest report. He was transported to Sumter County Detention Center.

A friend of Rappleyea's loaned six guns to him for what he told her was for teaching concealed weapons classes at some point in 2017, the report stated.

However, the woman, who stated she knew the deputy for "several years," confronted him last week about the guns she loaned him, which he then told her that he pawned the firearms, according to the report.

The woman then went to Nordic Pawn on 324 South Main Street in Wildwood, learned that her Sig Sauer model 2022 firearm was there, and not sold, the report stated, adding that the woman went to the Sheriff's Office about what happened.

Deputies were able to confirm the gun was sold at Nordic Pawn on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Deputies learned that Rappleyea also sold a Rock Island .45 caliber handgun for $200 to Family Jewelry and Pawn on 121 West Belt Ave. in Bushnell on Tuesday, Oct. 10, the report confirmed. The deputy allegedly received $300 for the Sig Sauer.

Authorities discovered that Rappleyea used his Florida's driver's license as identification at the two pawn shops when he sold the guns, according to the report.

The woman told deputies that she never gave Rappleyea permission to pawn her firearms.

On Monday, Oct. 23, Rappleyea was interviewed by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Sheriff's Office and admitted that he pawned the firearms to help pay for his debts, such as phone and electric bills and insurance.

Deputies are searching for the remaining guns.