Windsor man gets jail time for role in cross-border smuggling ring
A 29-year-old Windsor man has been sentenced for his role in a year-long cross-border smuggling operation that brought in drugs, guns and cash into Canada.
Superior Justice Lloyd Dean sentenced Roy Hill to four years in jail on Wednesday. Hill was given credit for time already served. He will spend another two years, 113 days behind bars and has a lifetime weapons ban.
Hill was apprehended through "Project Kirby" in March 2015.
He pleaded guilty to five offences in connection to that sting, including conspiracy and possession of a loaded firearm.
His lawyer Maria Carrocia argued he played a very small role in the illegal guns importation ring, but regardless, Justice Dean said Hill must be held accountable.
Police agencies on both sides of the border were involved in the investigation that focused on the importation and sale of illegal guns between Michigan and Ontario.
As part of the investigation, guns were smuggled across the border, then sold to undercover officers in Windsor who posed as members of an organized crime group from Toronto.
Ten people were charged with 111 offences after police raids in London, Lakeshore and Windsor.
Court heard Hill was never involved in any gun exchange but he was friends with one of the key players in the investigation.
On two seperate occasions, Hill was found inside a vehicle and investigators said he knew there was a prohibited firearm inside the vehicle.
In handing down the sentence, Justice Dean noted Hill has shown signs of remorse and also has a supportive family to help with his rehabilitation.
Before he was taken into police custody, Hill asked the judge if he could hug his mother. She cried out that she loved him.
A number of Hill's other siblings were also in court. His family says he's a good man, with a strong character. They suggest he got involved with some bad people, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.