Man guilty of selling guns illegally out of his Sagkeeng hunting and fishing store
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/06/2015 (2657 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A rural Manitoba store owner has been found guilty of a unique gun-trafficking case that was exposed by an undercover RCMP operation.
Cory Seymour, 36, now faces a mandatory minimum of three years in prison under federal firearms legislation. His trial began Monday and ended late Wednesday evening when jurors returned their verdict.
RCMP began targeting Seymour in 2010 after they believed he was illegally selling guns out of a hunting and fishing store in Sakgeeng First Nation.
Investigators set up a sting in which an undercover officer posing as a hunter with a damaged gun approached Seymour at the store to request repairs and to borrow another gun. Seymour failed to check to see if the undercover cop had a licence to possess firearms when he agreed to sell him a rifle that day.
“He said ‘Remember, you didn’t get that from me,’” the officer told jurors earlier this week. He said Seymour didn’t ask for any identification before “handing me a fully functional, high-powered firearm” in exchange for $150.
Seymour previously went on trial in April 2014 only to have the case dismissed following a single day of evidence.
Queen’s Bench Justice Shawn Greenberg declared a mistrial when the leader of the covert operation unexpectedly revealed how a confidential source had alleged to RCMP that Seymour or someone working for him was supplying guns to a notorious Manitoba street gang.
That information is considered inadmissible hearsay and Greenberg described it as “highly prejudicial” for jurors to hear because it implied Seymour had been doing the very thing he was on trial for.
“The evidence is particularly damaging because it answers a question that must be in the jury’s mind, as it was in mine, that is: Why was Mr. Seymour a target of an undercover operation?” Greenberg said.
Seymour will be sentenced later this year. He remains free on bail.