In March 2016, the Windsor Police Service arrested Curtis Elliott and nine other people for smuggling illegal guns into Canada.
This was the end of a year-long investigation in which police charged ten people with 111 criminal offences.
Curtis Elliott faced 33 of those charges.
On October 16, 2020, news broke that Elliott pleaded guilty and, as a result of the Crown’s plea agreement, walked out of court a free man.
The photo of him published in association with his guilty plea showed him smiling broadly beneath his COVID mask. I’d be smiling too if I could walk away from 33 criminal charges for gun smuggling with only time served as my penalty.
Lest you mistakenly believe this is a case of a good man caught up with a group of bad people committing despicable acts, I’ll quote from two court decisions that explain, quite clearly, the opposite.
This is a bad guy with a long history of doing bad things.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance in her May 12, 2020, ruling denying his latest bail application, write the following:
“Mr. Elliott has a lengthy criminal record, including several prior convictions for failure to comply with court orders.”
“His record is substantial and contains 19 prior convictions for failing to abide by court orders.”
“Mr. Elliott had managed in the past to be highly resourceful with the telephone and had managed to move firearms by directing others to do his bidding.”
“Residential supervision and electronic monitoring did not necessarily protect the public from the commission of further crimes. There remained a substantial likelihood that the public would be endangered if Mr. Elliott was released on bail.”
On October 4, 2019, Justice King wrote the following while denying bail at another review hearing.
“These concerns are compounded by the fact that while the GPS monitoring system will adequately record the movements of the accused, he can still become involved in the trafficking of weapons from his aunt’s residence.
“He has engaged in serious and violent criminal behaviour in the past without regard for the law. He has never demonstrated an ability or willingness to comply with court-ordered conditions. Despite their good intentions, I have no confidence that Heather Elliott and/or David Radney will be able to exert any significant control over Mr. Elliott.”
This is the guy Ontario Assistant Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Holmes released on probation.
Three judges – the original Justice of the Peace who denied bail and two judges at subsequent bail review hearings – all said Curtis Elliott was too dangerous to release on bail because his criminal history is littered with charges for failing to comply with court-ordered conditions of release.
But he’ll comply with the terms of his probation this time?
Absolutely, assured Laura Joy, Curtis Elliott’s defence attorney.
“Mr. Elliott is going to go on now and lead a productive life. He is a young man with a future ahead of him and he’s anxious to get along with life, spend some time with his family and eventually get back to work.”
Curtis Elliott pled guilty to 11 criminal charges including possession of prohibited firearms, trafficking in prohibited firearms and conspiracy.
According to Justice Bruce Thomas, the total prison time for the mandatory minimum sentences add up to 18 years.
The joint plea agreement requested an eight-year sentence and, after credit for time served and bonus credits for being in prison during COVID, Curtis Elliott walked out of court a free man.
The full terms of his release were not published, as far as I can tell, but some of the conditions include submitting a blood sample to the DNA databank and a lifetime firearms prohibition.
Curtis Elliott is a lifelong criminal who smuggled illegal guns into Canada and sold them to gang members and other violent criminals.
Our justice system allowed Curtis Elliott to walk free after less than five years in pre-trial custody.
Our government considers this pathetic sentence is an appropriate punishment for those who endanger the safety of all Canadians.
It should be easy to understand why I and others question the legitimacy or efficacy of confiscating legally owned guns from licenced Canadian firearm owners to prevent gang or other criminal violence.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, are you willing to take my bet that lifelong criminal and gun smuggler Curtis Elliott will be arrested again for selling illegal guns at some point in the near future?
I’ll give you 2:1 odds against.
But, but but, I am convinced that to do otherwise would bring the administration of justice into disrepute or some other such legal fiction. And after listening to the articulate Minister Blair, the confiscation of firearms from newly minted scofflaws seems reasonable and we must be convinced of the wisdom of such leaders. By the way, I think I may have located a somewhat used bridge for you to put over the river near you. Are you still interested?
Christopher di Armani says
Thanks Dale, but I have enough bridges already. 🙂
Bruce Montague says
This isn’t that simple of a problem. I get your point that our justice system is severely bankrupt with it’s many shortcomings and contradictions. BUT – – – there are a number of factors that you missed that I can relate to.:
1-Pre-trial custody is not a very nice place to be. Prison is not nice either, but it’s a lot better than the jail you sit in waiting for your “speedy trial”
2-It wasn’t that many years ago when doing what he was doing was not even considered a crime. It doesn’t look like he is a model citizen by any means, but if we are to respect the RIGHT of free people to have “arms for their defense” we also have to consider the free people who might have ill intent.
3-I’m a firm believer of the right to have arms for defense, for ANYONE. If you abuse that right then there should be serious consequences. Our “justice system” doesn’t appear to be up to that job.
Yours in Liberty,
Arie Intveld says
Armed drug dealers, gangbangers, terrorists and gun runners merely receive a “caught you again so stop getting caught” reprimand from our Canadian hug-a-thug judiciary whereas a licensed Canadian firearms owner receives a mandatory minimum sentence and has their life savings bled dry by legal costs just to defend themselves against a charge for improper storage or an expired firearms license.
The take-aways from this inverted logic are :
1. The government actually depends a large, gun-toting criminal element loose in Canadian society who are more than willing to participate in gunfights on Canadian city streets otherwise the government’s public safety narrative being used to disarm Canadians would be a very tough sell.
2. Without daily shootings, Toronto Star, CBC, CTV and Global would have precious little in the way of propaganda to disseminate other than Kung-Flu fear and Orange Man Bad.
3. Without daily shootings, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns, Coalition for Gun Control and the Polytechnique grave-dancers would have no propaganda to bleat out.
4. If you’re determined to possess and use firearms, it’s now in your best interest to not bother with doing so legally. Our Canadian courts will treat you much more leniently if you are an actual criminal.
“We often meet our destiny on the road we take to avoid it.”- Jean de la Fontaine
Lynn Cournoyer says
It is hard to believe that yet another criminal is released into the public. Is our justice system geared toward benefiting the criminal or was it meant to protect the innocent?
I believe that when the deadline arrives for legal firearms owners to turn in their firearms that I may very well face criminal charges. For I refuse to surrender my firearms that I bought and paid for and obtained legally. Before that happens I can see the level of the lake I live near rising up dramatically.
But, that would also be considered illegal. So I guess I hope that the fractured justice system would forgive me and send me away a free man just like all the people who really break the firearms laws in this country. Be prepared to become a criminal in 2023.
John Doe says
Chris, if that was you caught with a rabbit gun in your garage without a trigger lock and a box with three .22 shorts sitting on the work bench ( you wanted to shoot some magpies that were stealing your deer fat set out for woodpeckers) you would be getting close to the 10 years they wanted to put Bruce away for a paper ‘crime’ under an illegal law. Wanna bet 2-1? I hope we never have to find out. But a gun smuggler and violent criminal walks???
Christopher di Armani says
Yes, you understand how it works, John. Completely.