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Press Release

Tulsa Man Indicted for Possessing a Gun after a Domestic Violence Conviction

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

A federal grand jury returned an indictment this week charging a Tulsa man with possessing a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and with lying to a firearms dealer, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Kai Lamar Walela, 34, is charged with possessing a Rock River Arms 5.56 mm caliber rifle and 72 rounds of associated ammunition after a June 2018 misdemeanor domestic assault and battery conviction in Tulsa County District Court.

He is further charged with knowingly making a false statement to Advanced Combat LLC, a licensed firearms dealer, in July 2018, by lying on the ATF Form 4473.  When he attempted to purchase a SOTA multi-caliber lower receiver, the defendant allegedly failed to acknowledge that he was previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence

Walela is being prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Project Guardian, an initiative that focuses on reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws. Individuals who have been previously convicted of crimes of domestic violence or who have a protective order issued against them are prohibited from possessing firearms.

“The presence of a gun during a crime of domestic violence means the chances are five times greater that the victim will be fatally shot. It also increases the chances that other victims, including children, will suffer the same fate. Project Guardian is a new initiative that we believe will save lives,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Every gun related crime or tragedy prevented through Project Guardian prosecutions is a victory for our community. We will also focus our investigative efforts on those who lie on federal firearms forms and try to buy a firearm. In these “lie and try” cases, there is no better partner than the dedicated men and women of the ATF.”

In February 2019, Walela was among six “lie and try” defendants charged in separate criminal complaints. All of the defendants were prohibited from possessing firearms and allegedly lied on the AFT From 4473. U.S. Attorney Shores and ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II announced charges against the other five defendants at a press conference in February. At the time, Walela remained at large, but in December 2019, authorities took Walela into custody in New Mexico based on an arrest warrant associated with the complaint.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A.S. Régal is prosecuting the case.

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; and 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 January 17, 2020

Project Guardian