EL RENO — A former official with the Oklahoma American Legion is accused of selling ceremonial military rifles for his own personal profit.
David Austin Kellerman, a U.S. Marine veteran, is charged in Canadian County District Court with embezzlement.
If convicted of the felony, Kellerman, 43, of Mustang, faces up to five years in prison.
The U.S. Army loans military rifles to American Legion posts across the country. The rifles are supposed to be returned if posts are closed or they are no longer needed.
Kellerman was the adjutant for the Oklahoma American Legion from September 2003 to December 2011, according to a court affidavit.
One gun buyer claimed to have purchased approximately 120 rifles from Kellerman in 2012 for $350 each, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent wrote in the affidavit.
Investigators reported recovering 23 of the stolen rifles.
Kellerman was arrested Jan. 17 at an Oklahoma City hotel during the Oklahoma American Legion's Mid-Winter Conference. He is free on a $25,000 bond.
His defense attorney, Kevin Krahl, said, “He denies that he did anything that they have accused him of.”
Kellerman currently is on probation for a 2012 drunken-driving offense and marijuana possession offense.