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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ademola Kayode, Jr., 30, of Warwick, convicted by a federal court jury of being in the business illegally buying and possessing firearms, and selling them on the streets of Rhode Island and elsewhere, was sentenced today to twenty-four months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Kayode was found by a jury to have purchased at least sixteen firearms, in each case falsely stating on ATF forms that he was not an unlawful user of controlled substances when, in fact, he was, and thus he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. The jury also convicted Kayode of acting as an unlicensed firearms dealer, selling firearms to persons legally prohibited from possessing a firearm; and found that he repeatedly lied to federal agents when questioned about the whereabouts of sixteen firearms that he illegally purchased.
The government’s evidence showed that Kayode sold at least five of the firearms and that they ended up in the hands of individuals who were legally prohibited from possessing them. Three of the guns were recovered Providence, one in Atlanta, and one in Queens, New York.
The jury convicted Kayode of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, false statement during purchase of firearms, and two counts of false statements to federal agents.
According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, in June 2016, Kayode was surveilled by ATF agents as he left a licensed Rhode Island firearms dealer after taking possession of four firearms. He later told investigators that he had taken those firearms, as well as others he had purchased in Rhode Island, to Georgia. Two of those firearms were later recovered in Providence by Rhode Island State Police and the FBI, from people who were legally prohibited from possessing them.
During a recorded interview with ATF agents played for the jury, Kayode was unable or refused to provide ATF agents with an accounting as to where the guns he had purchased could be located. Kayode stated that he brought the guns to Georgia and that they were in different places; that he used them in a music video; and that he was planning to bring the guns back to Rhode Island. In the same interview, after first denying he sold any firearms at all, Kayode told investigators that he did sell firearms to people he met through Armslist, an online firearms marketplace. According to the government’s evidence, although it appeared that Kayode purchased firearms through Armslist, ATF agents found no evidence that Kayode actually sold any firearms on the website.
Two days after being interviewed by ATF agents, Kayode went to the Warwick Police Station and reported that a storage shed in his yard had been broken into, and a safe containing the firearms he purchased in Rhode Island and Georgia, along with a leaf blower and grass trimmer, had been stolen. A Warwick Police Officer who responded with other officers to Kayode’s residence testified at trial that they found no evidence of the shed having been broken into or of a safe having been in the shed.
ATF agents reviewed thousands of Kayode’s text messages, emails, and other communications, in determining that Kayode regularly resold firearms that he purchased from licensed dealers to others for a higher price than he paid.
At today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Kayode to twenty-four months of incarceration to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.
This Project Safe Neighborhoods case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ronald R. Gendron and Lee H. Vilker.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.