Brampton man pleads guilty, again, for same illegal gun offences
Police say several guns were seized in a joint operation called Project Kirby. (Courtesy OPP)
A Brampton man has pleaded guilty, again, to illegal gun offences committed in Windsor.
On Tuesday in Superior Court, Phillip Nkrumah, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffick an illegal firearm, trafficking an illegal firearm and possession of property obtained by crime.
He was arrested as part of Project Kirby, which Assistant Crown Attorney Scott Pratt says was an OPP investigation into illegal drug and weapons smuggling in Essex County.
In March of 2016, 10 people were charged with a combined 111 offences through Project Kirby.
It was a year-long joint investigation by the OPP, Windsor Police, London Police, Canada Border Services Agency, and various American law enforcement agencies
Between Jan. 7, 2016 and Jan. 13, 2016, Nkrumah met at least twice with undercover officers to either discuss or complete the sale of an illegal handgun.
In this case, it was a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum handgun, sold by Nkrumah to the officers for $5,000.
During a meeting with the undercover agents, court heard Nkrumah told the officers he had a woman who was willing to drive guns across the border for him but that she didn’t have a car.
Court also heard Nkrumah bragged to the officers about firing a gun, along EC Row Expressway, although it wasn’t made clear in the statement of facts, if this was true or if anyone was injured as a result.
This is the second time Nkrumah has pleaded guilty to these offences, in the same case.
In October, he pled guilty to conspiring to traffick an illegal firearm and trafficking an illegal firearm. But during his sentencing hearing, Nkrumah admitted to Justice Renee Pomerance that at some point he didn’t believe the gun was real.
Justice Pomerance said she had no choice but to strike his plea, and start over.
Justice Bruce Thomas has taken over the new pleas and asked Nkrumah repeatedly if the allegations were true and if he fully understands his guilty pleas. Nkrumah replied “everything is fully accurate”.
On April 29, Defence lawyer Maria Carroccia and Assistant Crown Attorney Scott Pratt will present their submissions for sentencing, a hearing which is expected to take two hours.