Former Police Officer Sentenced for Making a False Statement to a Firearms Dealer to Purchase a Gun for Boyfriend

A former Tulsa police officer was sentenced today in federal court for conspiring to make a false statement to a firearms dealer when purchasing a pistol on behalf of her boyfriend, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III sentenced Latoya Lisa Dythe, 27, to five years of probation. Judge Heil further ordered the defendant to pay a fine of $1,000. In April, Dythe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement to a firearms dealer and to false statement to a firearms dealer.

“My office is committed to holding accountable individuals who engage in illicit firearms transactions, including straw purchases,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Too often, straw purchases are linked to gun violence within communities across our nation. Latoya Dythe’s choice to illegally purchase a firearm on behalf of another not only ended her career as a Tulsa police officer, but also placed Tulsans at risk.”

In a written plea agreement, Dythe admitted that she and her codefendant Devon Jamyll Jones, her boyfriend at the time of the crime, agreed that Dythe would purchase a firearm for him at a Bass Pro Shop. Jones gave Dythe money to purchase a specific firearm, a FN HERSTAL S.A., 5.7 X 28mm. As mandated by law, Dythe filled out required forms to purchase the firearm. When asked on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473 “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form,” Dythe answered “Yes”. Her response was a false statement made to obtain the firearm for Jones. Dythe admitted that she did in fact obtain the firearm and immediately gave it to Jones following the purchase. She admitted that she knew her actions were Illegal when she committed the crime.

The ATF Form 4473 specifically issues a warning to purchasers: “Warning: You are not the actual transferee/buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual transferee/buyer, the licensee cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you.”

Devon Jones, 28, was charged as a coconspirator with Dythe in the indictment announced in December and is awaiting trial. Jones is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI and the Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Snow prosecuted the case.

This case was prosecuted as part of the 2150 Initiative. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Tulsa Police Department, ATF, and all other local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement partners to combat violent crime by focusing efforts on prohibited persons in possession of firearms as well as straw purchasers.

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