A federal jury in Providence on Wednesday convicted a Warwick man on charges that he acted as an unlicensed federal firearms dealer when he purchased and took possession of sixteen firearms over a period of sixteen months in two states and then sold the firearms to other individuals. The jury also found that he made false statements in order to purchase the firearms, claiming, untruthfully, that he was not an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
The jury convicted Ademola Kayode, Jr., 30, of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of controlled substances, making a false statement during the purchase of firearms, and two counts of making false statements to federal agents, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, an investigation by ATF agents determined that between March 25, 2015, and July 16, 2016, Kayode falsely asserted on ATF background forms required for gun purchases that he was not a user of controlled substances, when in fact he was. In total, Kayode purchased sixteen firearms in sixteen months from federally licensed firearms dealers in Rhode Island and Georgia during this period, in addition to others on the Internet. Kayode came to the attention of ATF agents because of his repeated purchases of firearms in a relatively short period of time, often the same or similar model. An investigation determined that Kayode repeatedly sold firearms without a federal firearms license to do so, and at least five of those firearms ended up in the hands of individuals who were legally prohibited from possessing them.
As part of the investigation, in June 2016, Kayode was surveilled by ATF agents as he left a Rhode Island firearms dealer after taking possession of four firearms he had purchased. Kayode, who rode as a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle, rode past the area of his residence and then into South Providence. He later told investigators that he had taken those firearms, and 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.
To date, five of the sixteen firearms purchased by Kayode between March 2015 and July 2016 have been recovered by law enforcement. Three of the guns were recovered in Rhode Island, one in Atlanta, and one in Queens, New York. All were in the possession of individuals who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms.
During a recorded interview with ATF agents on July 28, 2016, and introduced as evidence during the trial, Kayode was unable or refused to provide ATF agents with an accounting as to where the guns he had purchased over the past sixteen months could be located. Kayode told agents that he brought the guns to Georgia and that they were in “different places,” and that he had used them in a music video. He told investigators 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 he sold 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, who is not a licensed federal firearms dealer, sold any firearms on the website.
According to evidence presented to the jury, 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.
As a result of a review by ATF agents of thousands of Kayode’s text messages, emails, and other communications, and additional evidence gathered during the investigation, it was determined that Kayode regularly resold firearms that he purchased from licensed dealers to others for a higher price than he paid. Some of those guns ended up in the possession of persons who were legally prohibited from possessing firearms. It was also determined that Kayode had numerous communications about purchasing and obtaining marijuana.
Kayode, who had been released on unsecured bond while awaiting trial, was ordered detained following the return of the jury’s verdict. Kayode is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, who presided over the three-day trial, on February 8, 2022.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ronald R. Gendron and Lee H. Vilker.
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