From: CBC News, October 19, 2009, Smuggled gun used in double-homicide
Posted by cgccanada on October 19, 2009
A gun allegedly used in two Ottawa homicides in 2007 was smuggled hundreds of kilometres from a rural corner of Maine into Canada. The gun — a .40 calibre HiPoint semi-automatic pistol — costs less than a base-model iPod in the U.S., and was allegedly used to shoot Ziad Ahmad, 32, and Phillip Salmon, 23, at Pari’s Motel in Ottawa’s east end two years ago. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Kawku Frimpong, the man accused of killing Salmon and Ahmad during a botched robbery in 2007. The Crown alleges that on June 21, 2007, Frimpong and his accomplice, Phillip Salmon, burst into the motel room where Ahmad and another man were smoking crack. Frimpong and Salmon’s intent, according to the Crown, was to rob the men. The Crown alleges that Frimpong fired a shot, and the single bullet killed both Ahmad — who was hit in the head — and Salmon, who was hit in the chest. Police found Salmon’s body in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut restaurant next door to the motel at around 10 p.m. that night. Ahmad’s body was found in the motel shortly after. Police located the gun a few days later — it was discarded at a construction site at the Montfort hospital near the motel. Police used the gun’s serial number to trace it to the Maine Military Supply store in Brewer, Maine where it was sold on June 13, 2006. Lawrence Sears, a 63-year-old with no criminal record, had purchased the gun, and seven other HiPoint pistols, the same day. Sears was what police call a “straw purchaser” — a front man who buys guns for a smuggler. The smuggler then took the weapons across the U.S. border. “I thought I’d get lots of money,” Sears said. “I ended up getting screwed. But I had a gambling habit at the time and that’s how I spent the money. I spent it all gambling.” In this case, the smuggler was Andrew Porter, a 39-year-old New Brunswick resident and property manager with an addiction to video slot machines. Porter smuggled the guns into New Brunswick, and from there they were sold to people in cities across Ontario and Quebec — many of whom were barred from buying guns on both sides of the border. Police believe that the gun involved in the Pari’s Motel murders came through Montreal, and was likely sold more than once before being used in the crime. Sears and Porter are currently serving sentences for trafficking guns; Sears is in federal prison in Massachusetts, and Porter in Youngstown, Ohio. Porter’s lawyer, Jeffrey Silverstein, said his client knows about the murders. “He was sickened to hear about that,” he said. “When an individual is clouded by an addiction, they’re not thinking straight. He didn’t — should have — but didn’t stop to think how these guns might have been used.” Police estimate that 30 other HiPoints Porter sold are in circulation in Canada.
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