Michigan vet pleads guilty to smuggling guns into Canada through NEXUS pass

A man who police say admitted to smuggling guns bought around Metro Detroit into Canada to be sold on the black market has accepted a plea deal, officials said Thursday.

According to the Canadian Ministry of the Attorney General, Randy Jackson III has pleaded guilty to trafficking firearms that officials said he acknowledges were not purchased for his own use, but to be sold on the black market. Officials said 11 of the firearms recovered since arresting Jackson have been found at various crime scenes in Canada.

Police said on July 7, 2017, Toronto police seized a loaded Glock 19 9mm handgun during a crime investigation unrelated to Jackson's case. Officers tracked down where the gun was from, and discovered it had been purchased by Jackson in the U.S. 

Officials said they launched an investigation, learning that Jackson, an American citizen, had bought 67 firearms in the U.S. starting January 26, 2017. The firearms were purchased from various dealers across Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and Port Huron. And of those 67 firearms, 32 were determined to be Glocks, officials said.

Officers learned that while Jackson lived and worked in Michigan, he had a spouse and child in London, Ontario and would typically travel to Canada every weekend to see his family. Many times, Jackson would cross the border into Canada on the same day he bought guns.

Police said Jackson used a NEXUS pass, which allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering Canada and the U.S., according to the federal government website. Members use processing lanes dedicated to NEXUS members.

Officials said on Oct. 12, 2017, Jackson bought two firearms at THS Sporting Centre in Michigan, including a Taurus 85 38 Revolver and a Sig Sauer (Sig-Arms) P250 9 Pistol. With Jackson under investigation, ATF officers contacted Firearms Enforcement Unit officers in Toronto to let them know. 

The Firearms Enforcement Unit then asked Canadian border agents to stop Jackson at the border near Port Huron. On October 12, 2017, Jackson was stopped and sent for a secondary inspection. Officers found a rifle barrel cleaner in the glove box hidden under papers, and after a third search, found three firearms in Jackson's pants, including the two he had just purchased that day. Police said two of the firearms contained over-capacity magazines, but none of them were loaded.

Officials said Jackson was arrested at the scene. Border agents found a receipt for a storage locker Jackson rented in Ypsilanti. Inside, investigators found 46 empty gun boxes and miscellaneous gun-related paperwork. Police determined Jackson would store the guns he bought in that locker before transporting them across the border into Canada. 

Police said they have recovered 11 of Jackson's firearms purchased by another buyer at crime scenes in the Greater Toronto Area, Durham and Middlesex.

"There was a shooting somewhere in the GTA in the news almost every day. It's a painful thing, it's a painful feeling to see so many stories break and wonder if I had any fault in it," Jackson said to a judge while pleading guilty, according to the Toronto Star.

According to the publication, defense lawyers described Jackson, who was born in Lansing, as a devoted father, who coaches basketball and has no criminal record. At 19 years old, he enlisted in the Michigan National Guard and served two tours of duty in Kuwait with the U.S. armed forces. The Toronto Star reports that at the time of his arrest, Jackson was a patient attendant at a Michigan hospital while at the same time studying health care administration. He had hoped to eventually settle in London with the mother of his two sons, who are 10 and 3 years old, and her two children.

Prosecutors argued that he posted as an "upstanding citizen" to obtain a NEXUS pass and easily cross the border, and that this happened as the city of Toronto marked its highest number of shootings in its history at 424, the Toronto Star reports. Lawyers agreed on an eight-year sentence and the judge is expected to make a decision on Friday.

At the time of Jackson's plea, the following firearms were recovered:

1. September 5th, 2018: Glock 27 
2. July 29th, 2018: Taurus PT 140 
3. June 19th, 2018: Taurus 709 Slim 
4. February 27th, 2018: Glock 30S 
5. February 3rd, 2018: Ruger LC9S 
6. January 18th, 2018: Glock 33 357 Pistol
     Ruger LCPII 380 Pistol 
7. July 7th, 2017: Glock 19 BEBR726
8. July 30th, 2017: Glock GMBH 26GEN4 9 Pistol 
9. October 11th, 2017: Glock GMBH 30S 45 Pistol 
10. October 24th, 2017: HS Products (IM Metal) XD40 40 Pistol
11. October 11th, 2017: Glock 30 
12. October 12th, 2017: Glock 19 Gen 4 
13. October 12th, 2017: Sig Sauer P250 
14. October 12th, 2017: Spring Field Armoury XD 
15. January 11th, 2017: Taurus PT 140 MIL G2 40 Pistol