Tulsa, Oklahoma, Police Officer Latoya Dythe was suspended without pay after a federal grand jury indicted her for illegally purchasing a firearm for her boyfriend, Devon Jones.
That announcement came in a press conference with U.S. Attorney Trent Shores, FBI Special Agent in Charge Melissa Godbold and Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin on December 10, 2020
She pleaded guilty and, as part of the plea deal she will be sentenced for conspiracy in making a false statement to a firearms dealer. She potentially faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine “not to exceed $250,000.”
As a sworn officer of the law, Dythe knew buying a gun for her boyfriend was a criminal act, yet she made almost no attempt to hide what she was doing.
On April 11, 2020, Latoya Dythe and Devon Jones went to the Broken Arrow Bass Pro Shops store where Jones picked out the handgun he wanted – an FN Herstal FN Five-seveN – and Dythe purchased the handgun.
The store clerk specifically asked Dythe if the firearm was for her. She said it was, and said, “she was a police officer and knew the law.”
She showed her police ID and signed an ATF Form 4473, stating the firearm was for her.
The pair left the store and, standing in the parking lot, Dythe gave the handgun to Jones.
Not such a bright move, given at least one store employee was already sceptical of the transaction.
It’s an even dumber move considering Devon Jones’ criminal lifesyle, which now has him facing several charges, including shooting with intent to kill, and conspiracy to commit a felony, could not have been a surprise to Dythe.
The Tulsa Police Department’s Crime Gun Unit became aware of Dythe’s straw purchase, but news reports don’t state specifically how they found out about it.
During the investigation, Officer Dythe admitted that she knew her actions were illegal, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
“Investigators within the Tulsa Police Department Crime Gun Unit received this case and immediately began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms,” said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office..
“We have worked in partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office throughout the duration of this investigation and will continue to do so as this process moves forward. When the actions of an employee of the Tulsa Police Department bring ill repute to the Department, it tarnishes the good work done by the hundreds of other officers who wear the badge with honor.”