Caley Dawn Sinclair Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on June 14, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CALEY DAWN SINCLAIR, a 23-year-old resident of Lethbridge, Alberta, pled guilty to attempted illegal export of firearms. Sentencing has been set for September 14, 2011. She is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On March 26, 2011, SINCLAIR and another individual, identified here as "John Doe," were arrested in Billings with 12 handguns. SINCLAIR and "John Doe" planned to take the 12 firearms back to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
The investigation revealed that SINCLAIR legally passed into the United States through the Port of Piegan on March 25, 2011. "John Doe," who is excluded from the United States due to his extensive Canadian criminal history, circumvented the port and walked into the United States. SINCLAIR dropped off "John Doe" on the Canadian side of the border and picked him up on the United States side of the border. SINCLAIR and "John Doe" then traveled to Lewistown where "John Doe" purchased one handgun. SINCLAIR and "John Doe" then traveled to Billings where they stayed the night.
On March 26, 2011, SINCLAIR and "John Doe" attended the gun show in Billings. They purchased a total of 11 handguns throughout the day - SINCLAIR held the money and transported some of the handguns to their vehicle while "John Doe" did the actual firearms purchasing. Law enforcement officers arrested SINCLAIR and "John Doe" that day and recovered the 12 handguns after receiving consent to search their vehicle and their cell phones.
The investigation revealed that SINCLAIR and "John Doe" planned to return to Canada the same way they entered the United States: SINCLAIR would drop off "John Doe" before reaching the border, SINCLAIR would legally return to Canada, "John Doe" would illegally walk into Canada with the handguns in a backpack, and SINCLAIR would pick up "John Doe" in Canada. The investigation also revealed that their trip to Billings was not their first trip into the United States to purchase handguns and take them illegally into Canada.
A person wanting to export handguns into Canada must obtain an export license and fill out proper paperwork. Neither SINCLAIR nor "John Doe" had obtained a license or filled out the proper paperwork to export handguns.
SINCLAIR faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.