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UPDATE: Former P.E.I. RCMP officer guilty of storing 'arsenal' of weapons in his home

['CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VIEW: A photo Charlottetown police took during an investigation shows a weapon found inside former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis’s home in February 2016. ']
['CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VIEW: A photo Charlottetown police took during an investigation shows a weapon found inside former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis’s home in February 2016. ']

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A former RCMP officer has been found guilty of multiple weapons offences after the police found what a Crown attorney described as an arsenal in his home.

Former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis leaves the provincial courthouse Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

Jeffrey Rae Gillis appeared before Judge Jeff Lantz in provincial court in Charlottetown Tuesday for the continuation of a trial that started in January with unsuccessful attempts to get evidence excluded.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Crown attorney Gerald Quinn tendered evidence that included guns, ammunition and eight books of photos from Charlottetown police.

Some of the dozens of weapons seized were in the courtroom before the proceedings got underway Tuesday and sat in boxes wrapped in brown paper.

There was also a box holding ammunition in the courtroom.

Quinn told the court it would take a small truck to move all of the ammunition the police seized from Gillis’s home.

After submitting an agreed statement of facts, which included admissions that Gillis filed false reports about the destruction of several guns, Quinn closed the Crown’s case.

The defence didn’t call any witnesses and after reviewing the evidence, Lantz found Gillis guilty on 12 charges.

Quinn conditionally stayed seven of those charges, which will still be considered for sentencing.

The remaining charges Quinn included careless storage of firearms, possession of prohibited firearms with ammunition and possession of restricted firearms with ammunition.

The other remaining charges were for a breach of trust and making a false report to P.E.I.’s chief firearms officer concerning the destruction of a shotgun.

Charlottetown police seized the weapons from Gillis’s home in February 2016 on a public safety warrant after investigating an unrelated matter.

Gillis has since retired from the RCMP where one of his duties included acting as a firearms officer with the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.

Quinn said Gillis was taking guns from his job, not destroying them and converting them to his own use.

“They’re not his guns,” Quinn said.

Photos Charlottetown police took inside Gillis’s house and garage showed dozens of rifles, shotguns and handguns.

Some of the guns in the photos were on their own while others were in cabinets, in cases or laid out on a blanket on the floor.

In one photo, various boxes of ammunition and loose shotgun shells were shown in larger containers, totes, wooden crates and a laundry basket.

In his sentencing submissions, Quinn said there were thousands of rounds of ammunition and “an arsenal that could take out a small island.”

Quinn argued a sentence in the range of three to five years in prison would be appropriate.

In her submissions, defence lawyer Emily Cochrane said Gillis wasn’t selling the guns or trading them.

“At best he can be said to be a collector,” she said.

Cochrane argued a conditional discharge would be appropriate so Gillis could continue to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

If Lantz didn’t consider a discharge appropriate, then he could also consider a suspended or conditional sentence, Cochrane said.

Lantz adjourned the matter until May 26 to consider the submissions.

 

Ryan.Ross@tc.tc

Twitter.com/ryanrross

 

A photo Charlottetown police took during an investigation shows some of the weapons found inside former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis’s home in February 2016.
Boxes of ammunition are shown in this photo presented as evidence in court during the trial of former RCMP officer Jeffrey Gillis.

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