Officials link cellphone to case against ex-Oklahoma American Legion leader

By MATT DINGER | The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City | Published: February 5, 2014

A cellphone recovered during the arrest of the former adjutant general of the Oklahoma American Legion Headquarters was used by him to sell nearly 40 rifles belonging to the Army, according to a search warrant filed in Oklahoma County.

David Austin Kellerman, 43, was charged Jan. 22 with one count of embezzlement and one count of knowingly receiving stolen property in Canadian County.

Kellerman was arrested at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2945 Northwest Expressway, on Jan. 17. He had the cellphone at the time of his arrest, according to court documents.

Kellerman is accused of selling World War II-era ceremonial rifles loaned by the Army to various American Legion posts across the state.

A witness told investigators that he had purchased 39 rifles from Kellerman. Only 23 of them had been recovered by Jan. 28, the date on which the search warrant was written.

Kellerman's duties at the American Legion included collecting World War II military rifles from defunct American Legion posts. He was to return the rifles and property to the U.S. Army. But investigators say Kellerman sold the loaned rifles for personal profit.

If convicted, Kellerman faces up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution for each stolen weapon.


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