The trail of guns led from Chicago to Guelph where a year ago a coked-up man went berserk and fired shots into his neighbour’s apartment and car.
Then it continued to Ottawa where, just before last Christmas, a 26-year-old man was fatally shot after answering a knock on an apartment door.
A month later, in Vaughan near Weston and Rutherford Roads, three residents were held hostage at gunpoint during a home invasion. Two men pleaded guilty to the crime last month.
These incidents are seemingly unrelated, except they all involved firearms that trace back to Ugur Yildiz, the former owner of a Chicago gun shop and shooting range who admits smuggling 234 firearms into Canada three years ago.
Police have recovered 40 so far. They’ve been discovered in a Toronto cab, a pile of leaves, a garbage can, an abandoned house and a duffle bag behind a fridge, all linked to known drug dealers and suspected gang members in the GTA and beyond, police say.
“The havoc wreaked upon the Toronto area by Yildiz’s firearms deal is not even close to being over —approximately 200 firearms are still unaccounted for, last known to be in Canada,” reads the sentencing memorandum filed in United States District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, eastern division.
Yildiz, a 39-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Turkey, pleaded guilty in March under the Arms Export Control Act.
His sentencing hearing resumed Friday in a Chicago courtroom where U.S. prosecutors are looking to double the maximum sentence from five years to 10. The judge is to pass sentence Sept. 18.
At one time Canadian authorities were suggesting they might extradite Yildiz to stand trial here and officials this week refused to say whether that was still being considered.
The maximum sentence for trafficking and importing firearms in Canada is 10 years imprisonment.
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