Yesterday a Canadian court handed down a hefty fine to a South Carolina trucker who attempted to cross the border with three pistols.
Trucker Failed To Declare Weapons At Border
According to court records, 55 year old trucker Marion Furman Taylor Jr. was detained at the Osoyoos border crossing on April 3, 2016. Taylor was driving a load of kayaks and canoes across the border when he attracted the attention of authorities by seeming to be nervous while awaiting a secondary inspection.
When border agents took a closer look inside the truck, they found a switchblade, mace, and pepper spray. It is prohibited to bring all of these items into Canada.
Agents also discovered a Beretta pistol, two Smith & Wesson pistols, and four high capacity magazines. Taylor cooperated with the agents in locating the guns.
Trucker Claims He Forgot About Guns Until It Was Too Late
Taylor claimed that he’d forgotten about the weapons until he was close to the border. He said that he didn’t declare the weapons because he panicked and feared losing his load and his contract.
This was Taylor’s first time crossing the Osoyoos border. He says that he regularly crosses the Windsor-Detroit border.
Taylor’s defense argued that the weapons were only for personal protection and that his client was not attempting to smuggle the guns into Canada. His lawyer also argued that the guns were purchased legally and were not an issue in the U.S.
The judge denied Taylor’s request for a complete dismissal of the charges against him, noting, “It’s extremely serious in Canada to bring guns into this country.”
Taylor faced 10 charges for the incident and after making a deal with the judge pled guilty to three of the charges — falsely reporting import of goods, possession of a loaded, restricted firearm and possession of a unauthorized non-firearm.
Border Crossing Cost Trucker $16,000
He was ordered to pay $7,500 in fines for the three charges. Additionally, he had to pay $7,500 to have his truck released by border authorities. The value of the weapons he was forced to surrender was about $1000. The judge also issued Taylor a mandatory firearms restriction in Canada.
Taylor will still be allowed to cross the border for work.
He has one year to to pay his fines.