“Operation 992” results in 149 Defendants charged Federally
Mike Seals - April 11, 2021 10:32 pm
Five Additional Defendants Charged This Week
OKLAHOMA CITY — This week, five defendants were charged in separate and unrelated cases, demonstrating the continued commitment to, and benefit of, the Western District of Oklahoma’s “Operation 922” domestic violence initiative, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
Nationally, these prosecutions are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction initiative. Through PSN, partnering law enforcement agencies identify the most pressing violent crime problems in communities and develop comprehensive solutions for lasting crime reductions.
“Operation 922” is the local implementation of the PSN initiative in the Western District of Oklahoma. Specifically, “Operation 922” focuses on domestic violence abusers who are found in possession of firearms or ammunition. This initiative stems from the federal prosecutors’ use of Title 18, United States Code Section 922, in which Congress has prohibited the possession of firearms and ammunition by various categories of individuals, such as those who are prior convicted felons, are subject to a victim Protection Order, are previously convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and are unlawfully using or addicted to controlled substances. By targeting the subject matter of domestic abuse and focusing on particularly violent domestic abusers, “Operation 922” does not directly or indirectly target any geographic area, socio-economic status, educational level, or ethnicity, because domestic abuse occurs in all neighborhoods, cities, and rural areas throughout the Western District of Oklahoma, including Indian Country.
This is the third anniversary since “Operation 922” began in March of 2018. Over this period, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged 149 defendants from 17 different counties in domestic violence-derived cases. Of those charged cases, 127 defendants have already been convicted or entered guilty pleas. Of those convicted, 98 defendants have been sentenced to an average of 76.5 months in federal prison. As a result, 211 guns and 3,367 rounds of ammunition have been seized from these defendants. Although this initiative targets domestic violence-derived cases, a closer review reflects that one-third of the “Operation 922” defendants charged are affiliated with one of 22 different gangs.
“Operation 922” is the result of a collaborative partnership with law enforcement and non-governmental entities in the Western District of Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, Oklahoma City Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Palomar Family Justice Center, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
“The safety of Oklahoma neighborhoods depends first on the safety in our homes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester. “When law enforcement has answered repeated calls for help from domestic violence victims, and the domestic abuser is now in possession of a firearm, that next call to law enforcement may be lifechanging for the victim or the responding officer. That is the crucial point when officers have the opportunity to remove illegally possessed guns from those abusers with a domestic violence history. We are confident that our prosecutions are saving the lives of victims and of officers who are called to respond. I am grateful for the dedicated efforts of Deputy Criminal Chief Lori Hines, who leads this initiative in our office, and our partners with whom we join forces to combat domestic violence throughout Oklahoma.”
“Domestic violence impacts all parts of our community and is a priority for the police department,” said OCPD Police Chief Wade Gourley. “Without strong partnerships we would be unable to successfully prosecute and reduce the damage caused by violence in the home. Operation 922 has become an extremely valuable resource in dealing with domestic violence and has truly saved lives. When firearms are involved in domestic abuse, statistics show the outcomes are far more likely to be fatal. Through our partnerships and strong support from the Family Justice Center, we protect victims and stop the cycle of violence in the home.”
“Operation 922 is an invaluable partnership that is saving lives,” said Kim Garrett, CEO of Palomar Family Justice Center. “When abusers are held accountable, it is a powerful message to survivors: you matter, you are valued, we care about your safety. We are proud to be a part of this life-saving collaboration and commend the U.S. Attorney’s office on their commitment to public safety.”
This week, federal charges were filed in the following five separate and unrelated cases as part of “Operation 922”:
- RYAN EVERETT O’NEAL, 29, of Duncan, was charged by Complaint on April 6, 2021, with assault with a dangerous weapon in Indian County, after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. If convicted, O’Neal faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
- XAVION RAYELL THOMPSON, 23, of Edmond, was indicted on April 8, 2021, for illegal possession a firearm, while subject to a victim Protection Order issued out of Logan County that restrained him from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. If convicted, Thompson faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
- PATRICK SEAN HICKS, 39, of Del City, was indicted on April 8, 2021, for illegal possession a firearm as a convicted felon, and while subject to a victim Protection Order issued out of Oklahoma County that restrained him from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner. If convicted, Hicks faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
- JUSTIN DALE JACKSON, 32, of Oklahoma City, was indicted on April 8, 2021, for illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, after allegedly threatening his former girlfriend. If convicted, Jackson faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
- GEORGE MORALES SANCHEZ, 41, of Oklahoma City, was indicted on April 8, 2021, for the illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. If convicted, Sanchez faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release.
The public is reminded that these charges are merely allegations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reference is made to public filings for more information.