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Tulsa Police Officer Indicted for Allegedly Acting as Straw Buyer for Gun

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A Tulsa Police officer has been indicted on federal gun charges.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores announced Thursday 26-year-old Latoya Dythe faces charges for allegedly making a false statement to a firearms dealer. Shores said Dythe took cash from her boyfriend, 27-year-old Devon Jones, and bought a gun for him from Bass Pro Shops in April. She marked on a required form she was buying it for herself, a practice known as a straw purchase.

TPD’s crime gun unit discovered the connection during an investigation, and Chief Wendell Franklin referred it to Shore’s office. Franklin said he’s committed to the integrity of the department.

"It tarnishes the good work that's being done by the multitude of officers upon our department that's wearing this badge with honor, putting this badge on each and every day, and going to work," Franklin said. "We have to work that much harder."

FBI Special Agent In Charge Melissa Godbold said the case is all about Dythe, and she doesn’t want it to cast a shadow over TPD.

"No one likes having to make the type of announcement that we are making today, but it is the type of announcement we need to make. Our system of justice is based on the cornerstones of trust and accountability. Without that, we have nothing," Godbold said.

Dythe turned herself in and pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday afternoon. She has a young son and is free on bond but suspended without pay. Dythe has been with TPD three years and was the only female graduate in her 2018 academy class.

Jones is in the Tulsa County Jail on shooting with intent to kill and robbery charges.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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