Western District Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence by Prioritizing Federal Prosecution of Gun Crimes Connected to Shootings
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Western District of Oklahoma’s “Operation Shots Fired” is getting results. Operation Shots Fired is the local implementation of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative to reduce gun violence by prioritizing the federal prosecution of gun crimes connected to shootings through the collaboration and cooperation of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors.
Specifically, Operation Shots Fired targets cases involving individuals who discharge firearms as part of their criminal activity, such as drive-by shootings or when shots are fired during robberies, domestic disputes, or other incidents. As part of this effort, law enforcement uses technology from ballistic imaging of shell casings located at crime scenes and casings from test fires of located firearms to produce actionable investigative leads through the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) made available through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States and is available to most major population centers in the United States.
Once law enforcement identifies shooters, the U.S. Attorney’s Office evaluates whether it can leverage federal laws to charge, detain, and imprison the “worst of the worst” offenders who discharge their weapons during criminal acts in our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with the District Attorneys’ Offices to identify appropriate cases for federal firearm prosecution.
“Operation Shots Fired brings the power of federal prosecution to hold shooters accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester. “We are proud to partner with our law enforcement partners and local prosecutors to help address the disturbing number of shootings in our communities which endanger all of us.”
“ATF could not be more proud of the success of this critical initiative. There is no higher priority than keeping the citizens of Oklahoma City safe from violent criminals. By leveraging modern technology and good old school police work, plenty of bad guys are going to jail. Much of the success of this initiative is rooted in the deep relationships amongst all law enforcement agencies in the greater Oklahoma City area,” stated ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek, II.
“We’ve all been witness to the tragedies of gun violence in our society,” said Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley. “We are proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to hold criminals responsible for their violent actions.”
Since Operation Shots Fired began in late 2021, 36 defendants have been charged with federal offenses. Within just the past couple of weeks, this initiative has included the following:
- ANTONEYO HARBERT, 33, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced on July 6, 2022, to 60 months in federal prison. According to public record, officers responded to a shots fired call at an apartment complex and located Harbert, who was intoxicated, walking down the stairs of an apartment building with a gun with a 31-round extended magazine.
- ANTONIO McCRAY, 34, of Lawton, Oklahoma, was sentenced on July 7, 2022, to 96 months in federal prison. According to public record, McCray pulled a gun on a friend during an argument. In two other incidents, McCray forced his girlfriend to play Russian roulette and pulled the trigger on a loaded revolver twice while pointed at her head, and locked another friend in the bathroom, pistol-whipping her, and threatened to kill her and her family.
- TERRELL HUBBARD, 35, of Oklahoma City, pled guilty on June 15, 2022, to illegal possession of ammunition. According to public record, Hubbard is alleged to have traveled to the workplace of a victim but was not allowed to enter the facility and became upset. Before leaving the premises, Hubbard discharged a firearm into the facility, narrowly missing the victim. Hubbard has been ordered detained pending sentencing.
- STEPHEN MARTIN, 31, of Verden, Oklahoma, pled guilty on June 22, 2022, to one count of illegal possession of a firearm and one count of illegal possession of ammunition. According to public record, Martin beat his fiancé and her dog and threatened to kill his fiancé. He then forced her into a car with a shotgun. When police tried to pull them over, Martin ran. After he was in custody, police located where he had hidden the shotgun and ammunition. Martin has been ordered detained pending sentencing.
- WAYNE PITTS, 54, of Oklahoma City, pled guilty on July 5, 2022, to illegal possession of ammunition. According to public record, Pitts assaulted his wife and their dog, threatened to kill himself, and shot a firearm into the ground. Pitts has been ordered detained pending sentencing.
Recently Charged: (NOTE: The public is reminded that charges are merely allegations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.)
- LINDELL BARKUS, 58, of Oklahoma City, was indicted on July 5, 2022, for the illegal possession of a firearm on May 24, 2022. According to public record, Barkus got in an argument with a random person at a 7-Eleven and started shooting. Barkus has been detained pending trial.
Sentencings take place approximately 90 days after a plea of guilty. At sentencing, each defendant faces up to ten years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of supervised release, for each count of illegally possessing a firearm or ammunition. Under the recently enacted Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, future defendants will face up to fifteen years in federal prison for the same conduct that occurs after June 25, 2022.
Reference is made to public filings for more information.
Additional cases can be found at:
- Home Security Footage Leads to Ammunition and Drug Charges for Convicted Felon
- Domestic Altercation and Shooting Result in City Man Being Sentenced to 235 Months in Federal Prison for Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Witness Tampering
For more information about Operation Shots Fired, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (405) 553-8999.