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Press Release

Felon Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Illegally Possessing A Firearm and Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. – A Tulsa man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for unlawful possession of a loaded .357 Magnum revolver and an additional 20 rounds of loose ammunition after multiple prior felony convictions. Defendant Rodney Burton was convicted by a jury of his peers on February 20, 2020.   

On August 13, 2020, U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell granted the government’s request for a longer prison sentence and sentenced Defendant Rodney Burton to a term of 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The government argued for an enhanced federal sentence based upon Burton barricading himself inside his residence at the time of his arrest, threatening to shoot law enforcement officers, and a previous domestic violence incident.  

“I commend U.S. District Judge Frizzell for handing down this two and one half year sentence of imprisonment. It sends a strong message of deterrence to every convicted felon who would illegally possess a firearm or ammunition,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “The public can expect to see more of these types of prosecutions. One way to reduce violent gun crime is to prosecute persons who illegally possess guns. That’s just what the Tulsa Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and U.S. Attorney are going to do here in northern Oklahoma.”

At the sentencing hearing today, the government called an officer and a U.S. Marshals Service task force officer to discuss the prior domestic violence incident and the circumstances of Burton’s arrest in this case. USMS TFO Ian Soergel testified that Burton refused to obey officer commands and barricaded himself into his residence causing them to use a bearcat breaching tool to apprehend him. Soergel also testified that Burton threatened to shoot officers in the process of being placed into custody. Burton represented himself and identifies himself as a Moorish national.

Burton will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility. The Tulsa Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark R. Morgan and D. Edward Snow prosecuted the case.

The case was prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Project Guardian, a nationwide initiative leveraging critical law enforcement partnerships to enforce federal firearms laws. Project Guardian is the Department’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Project Guardian draws upon the Justice Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This includes taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:


Public Affairs

Updated August 13, 2020

Project Guardian