For Immediate Release
Federal Jury Convicts Oklahoma City Man of Illegal Possession of Firearm After Previous Domestic Abuse Convictions
OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this week, a federal jury convicted TRACI ASHFORD, 34, of Oklahoma City, of possessing a firearm after a prior felony conviction of domestic assault and battery, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On February 19, 2021, a federal grand jury returned a single-count Indictment against Ashford, charging him and a co-defendant with possessing a firearm after a former felony conviction. Federal law prohibits a person who has previously been convicted of felony from possessing a firearm.
On August 11, 2021, after a two-day trial, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Ashford. Evidence at trial showed that, on October 6, 2020, Ashford engaged in an altercation with his girlfriend, which resulted in Ashford brandishing an AK-47 style rifle. Soon after the altercation, Ashford was stopped by Oklahoma City Police Department officers who located the rifle in the backseat of the car Ashford was driving. Prior to being found in possession of the firearm, Ashford had been convicted of a felony domestic assault and battery in Oklahoma County, as well as domestic battery in Jefferson County, Arkansas.
Ashford’s co-defendant, DARIUS HEAD, 25, of Oklahoma City, pled guilty to the Indictment on June 3, 2021.
At sentencing, Ashford and Head each face up to ten years in federal prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, in addition to a fine of up to $250,000. Both continue to be detained pending sentencing.
This case is the result of investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Oklahoma City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacquelyn Hutzell and Travis Leverett prosecuted the case.
This case is part of "Operation 922," the Western District’s local implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s initiatives to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. "Operation 922" prioritizes firearms prosecutions connected to domestic violence, including domestic violence abusers who possess a firearm and are subject to a victim protective order or have been previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Reference is made to court filings for further information.