U.S. Attorney and ATF Target Those who “Lie-And-Try” to Purchase Firearms
Five Defendants Plead Guilty to Firearms Violations
TULSA, Okla. – United States Attorney Trent Shores announced that five “lie and try” defendants have pleaded guilty to violations of federal firearms laws that stemmed from “lie and try” charges filed in February. The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Shores and law enforcement officials from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service, Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and Delaware County Sheriff’s Office during a February press conference.
“All too often, illegally purchased guns are then used to commit violent crimes. From domestic violence to mass shootings, time and again we see that criminals committing these heinous acts should never have had a gun in the first place because they are a “prohibited person” under federal law. Our “lie-and-try” prosecutions seek to stop the firearms from ever making it into the hands of those prohibited persons,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “The ATF has been and continues to be a great partner to hold accountable those who lie on federal forms and try to purchase a gun. The ATF’s efforts to stop “lie and try” purchases in Tulsa will help prevent violent gun crimes in our community. Every gun related crime or tragedy prevented through “lie and try” prosecutions is a victory for all of us.”
“Prior to stepping foot in a gun store, potential purchasers with eligibility concerns have access to a variety of information, reference materials and Q&A at www.atf.gov or by contacting their local ATF Office,” stated Dallas Division ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II. “The ATF Form 4473 questions are designed to identify prohibited persons and prevent the illegal transfer and possession of firearms. “Lie-And-Try”, or lying on the form about facts relevant to the transfer of a firearm is a felony, period.”
The following defendants were charged with making false statements in connection the attempted acquisition of a firearm and other firearm offenses: Glenville L. Albright, 50, of Pawhuska; Anthony Dale Brannon, 59, of Grove; Rufus Hicks, Jr., 39, of Tulsa, Christopher Manzanares, 28, of Broken Arrow; and Bradley Wikel, 31, of Jay.
Four of the men lied on the ATF Form 4473, answering no, when asked if they were convicted felons. The fifth man, Manzanares, lied when answering that he was not subject to a restraining order.
As a result of the ATF investigation, the men pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with the attempted acquisition of a firearm or to other related federal firearms violations, including felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm and ammunition while subject to a domestic violence restraining order.
The ATF Form 4473, specifically questions potential purchasers about their criminal history, for example, if they’ve been convicted of a felony, domestic abuse, and/or illegal drug use. The maximum penalty for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm is 10 years in prison.
Additionally, Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), who sell or transfer a firearm to a prohibited person, allow a straw purchaser to buy a gun for someone else, or fail to keep proper records of who they sell firearms to, also face criminal prosecution.
All men have pleaded guilty this month to the following firearms violations:
- Albright: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
- Brannon: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
- Hicks: False Statement in Connection With the Attempted Acquisition of a Firearm
- Wikel: False Statement in Connection With the Attempted Acquisition of a Firearm
- Manzanares: Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition While Subject to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
The ATF and the Broken Arrow Police Department are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard M. Cella, Eric O. Johnston, and Christopher J. Nassar and Victor A.S. Régal prosecuted the cases.