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Former TPD Officer Who Pleaded Guilty In Gun Straw Buyer Case Sentenced To 5 Years Probation

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A former Tulsa Police officer who pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges has been sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil sentenced Latoya Dythe, 27, on Tuesday. In April, Dythe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make a false statement to a firearms dealer and to false statement to a firearms dealer.

In a written plea, Dythe admitted to accepting cash from her boyfriend at the time, 28-year-old Devon Jones, to buy a 28mm handgun from Bass Pro Shops in April 2020. On required federal purchase forms, Dythe marked that the gun was for her.

"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," acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Clint Johnson said in a statement.

TPD’s crime gun unit discovered the connection last year during an investigation, and Chief Wendell Franklin referred it to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Dythe faced up to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to make a false statement to a firearms dealer and making a false statement to a firearms dealer. She has a young son.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Jones is awaiting trial as a coconspirator in the case.

The case was prosecuted as part of the 2150 Initiative, a collaboration involving federal, state, local and tribal authorities to get guns out of the hands of people prohibited by law from having them, which includes going after straw buyers.

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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