A Tulsa police officer pleaded guilty today in federal court for conspiring to make a false statement to a firearms dealer when purchasing a firearm.
Latoya Lisa Dythe, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement to a firearms dealer and to false statement to a firearms dealer.
According to her written plea agreement, Dythe admitted that she and her coconspirator Devon Jamyll Jones 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.”
“Police officers, just like all citizens, that engage in criminal conduct must be held accountable for their actions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Latoya Dythe understood it was illegal to lie on federal firearms transaction forms to obtain a gun for another individual, and today she has accepted responsibility for the crime. I appreciate the Tulsa Police Department for bringing this case to the attention of federal authorities and for working with the FBI and my office as this case proceeds in federal court.”
“The public rightfully expects more from those who have sworn to serve,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Melissa Godbold. “Latoya Dythe’s actions violated the public’s trust and I’m thankful for our federal, state and local law enforcement partners’ hard work to ensure this type of behavior is not tolerated.”
Dythe remains on bond pending sentencing which will occur on July 15. She faces a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for each count, three years of supervised release and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
Devon Jones, 28, was charged as a coconspirator with Dythe in the indictment announced in December. Jones is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. See the press release here announcing the indictment.
The FBI and the Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Snow is prosecuting 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