LAPD detective charged with trying to buy illegal gun silencer from China

LAPD officers salute.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Los Angeles Police Department Det. Luke Walden has been charged with a felony after authorities say he tried to buy a gun silencer from China.

Authorities began an investigation into Walden after U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents intercepted a package from China that contained an illegal firearm silencer in April 2021, the department said in a release. The address on the package matched one belonging to the veteran lawman, police said.

Walden, 48, was arrested Nov. 15 by the department’s Professional Standards Bureau and released on bail following. He is charged with one felony count of attempted possession of a silencer.

In announcing the charge against Walden, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said, “This case is especially troubling given that the accused is a senior law enforcement officer.”


Walden, a 24-year department veteran, has spent at least a decade in the LAPD’s gang and narcotics unit.

“Any device that is intended to silence or muffle a firearm is illegal,” Gascón said. “Anyone who tries to circumvent our laws by trying to purchase such items overseas will be held accountable for their actions, no matter their profession.”

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement that “the circumstances of this investigation trouble me greatly, given the responsibilities of the involved detective.”

“Reverence for the law is an unbending expectation of each member of this department,” he said.

Police Commission President William J. Briggs said the board has directed the Office of Inspector General to review the circumstances of the incident, noting that the Police Department would not tolerate corruption at any level.

Walden is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 7.