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American lawyer fined after crossing Canadian border with guns

An American lawyer pleaded guilty to two charges relating to an Oct. 2019 incident where he crossed the border with guns. File

An American lawyer who crossed the border into Canada packing restricted firearms was given a significant fine and won’t get his guns back.

Shawn Bertram Jensen crossed the border in Osoyoos, B.C., on Oct. 25, 2019, with two restricted firearms. Court documents indicate they unloaded a Colt AR15 rifle and a loaded restricted Ruger .22 handgun.

“He denied knowledge of the presence of those firearms in his vehicle or the intention to import them, and therefore he pleaded guilty (to) unlawful transportation of firearms,” a representative of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said in a statement this week.

Read more: Pandemic delays trial for American lawyer accused of bringing guns across Osoyoos border

As such, he pleaded guilty to two counts of transporting a firearm in a manner contrary to the storage, display, transportation and handling of firearms by individual regulations, contrary to the Criminal Code.

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“A fine of $3,500 was ordered on each count, for a total fine of $7,000, plus the 30 per cent VFS. Forfeiture and a 10-year firearms prohibition were also ordered,” the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said.

Eight other charges, including smuggling goods into Canada, giving a false or deceptive statement regarding the importing of goods and unauthorized possession charges were stayed.

The case had been delayed due to the closure of the Canada-U.S. border

Read more: Washington state lawyer facing charges for bringing firearms across B.C. border

Jensen had an initial application to adjourn the trial granted on Nov. 2, 2020, due to the 14-day isolation requirements for those coming across the border. He applied for a second delay which was granted on Feb. 1 in Penticton provincial court. It was then scheduled for September.

At the time of the charge, Jensen worked Valor Law Group. It said his legal career began as a law clerk for two Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges, which was followed by working for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., handling complex litigation from 1988 to 1997.

The bio also mentioned him becoming the staff advisor at the International Monetary Fund, from 1997 to 2003, before becoming a solo practitioner. It also added that he graduated from Gonzaga University’s law school with honours.

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— With files from Doyle Potenteau

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