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Local & Regional

Six Indicted in Green Country "Lie and Try" Gun Buy Cases

Matt Trotter

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores has indicted six people in northeastern Oklahoma for lying on federal firearm transaction forms about being allowed to own a gun in trying to obtain one.

Five — Glenville Albright, Anthony Brannon, Rufus Hicks Jr., Christopher Manzanares and Bradley Wikel — have been arrested in the last week. The sixth indictment is sealed until that person is arrested.

They are prohibited from owning a firearm because of felony records, domestic violence convictions, being in the country illegally or mental illness.

"There are opportunities to prevent mass shootings. There’s opportunities to prevent violence that involve firearms in domestic violence situations or against police officers, and this is one of the tools that we have to prevent those tragedies from happening," Shores said.

Shores said a 2017 shooting at a Texas church that killed more than two dozen people involved a gun acquired through "lie and try," as did the killing of two Indianapolis police officers last year. And Shores said more than half of Oklahoma's 95 domestic violence deaths in 2016 involved firearms.

"It’s the year anniversary of what happened in Parkland, Florida, which is also my hometown. So, it hit pretty hard," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Jeff Boshek said at a Thursday news conference announcing the six indictments. "Stoneman Douglas was our rival high school, who we played in football. These crimes, most people don’t pay much attention to. A line on a form isn’t a big deal. But it is a big deal to us."

Tulsa Police Deputy Chief Eric Dalgleish said officers appreciate the "lie and try" crackdown pushed by the U.S. attorney general's office.

"Every gun that we can prevent on the front end is one less that my officers are tasked with trying to recoup on the back end, either in a deadly encounter or an enforcement action in which a gun is taken out of a car or off a person," Dalgleish said.

Successful "lie and buys" often result in an illegal gun being handed off to someone else. A TPD task force recovered more than 500 illegal guns last year.

Lying on the federal firearm transaction form is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.