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Ex-RCMP officer on P.E.I. gets three years for weapons stash

Former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis leaves the provincial courthouse Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 where his lawyer was challenging a warrant that led to the seizure of weapons from his home.
Former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis leaves the provincial courthouse Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 where his lawyer was challenging a warrant that led to the seizure of weapons from his home.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Despite suffering severe posttraumatic stress disorder, former RCMP officer Jeffery Rae Gillis has been sentenced to three years in a federal penitentiary.

In February 2016 he was found to have a stash of weapons and 27 cases of ammunition in his Charlottetown home.

The officer had so much unsecured, improperly stored ammunition, in fact, that it took a half-ton truck to pick it up. The weapons included restricted and prohibited guns, with unsecured ammunition for those guns nearby, that Gillis was supposed to have destroyed as part of his police work.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VIEW: Some of ammunition seized in the investigation.

Instead, he diverted some of those guns and ammo to his home for what would become a massive collection.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VIEW: A photo Charlottetown police took during an investigation shows a weapon found inside former RCMP officer Jeffrey Rae Gillis’s home in February 2016.

Gillis no longer works for the RCMP or any police force.

Judge Jeff Lantz sentenced Gillis in provincial court in Charlottetown Friday.

Lantz reviewed some of the key points of the case.

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It began with a complaint of assault against Gillis received by Charlottetown Police Services. During that investigation, officers met Gillis at his home and came to know of the guns there.

The officers knew Gillis well. He was the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team officer working with both the local RCMP detachments and Charlottetown police.

“It supports law enforcement efforts to counter the illegal movement of firearms into and within Canada and their subsequent violent criminal use,” says the support team Internet site.

When the assault case came to court, justice officials prepared a report into the personal circumstances of Gillis.

The report said the 20-year RCMP veteran suffered PTSD, anger issues and a personality disorder.

RELATED: Former RCMP officer Jeffrey Gillis sentenced to 30 days for assault

Lantz noted that all that mental health history related to Gillis was not brought back directly to the court for these weapons charges, and so could not play a significant role in the sentencing.

After a court and trial process with a few starts and stops, mostly about the admissibility of the seized guns and ammo, Gillis entered a plea of guilty to some of his charges while other charges were dropped.

In the sentencing Friday, Lantz paid special attention to the Criminal Code charges against Gillis that made reference to breach of trust.  

“(The charges involve) a police officer that society expects to be trustworthy,” said Lantz.

“In this case you could argue the victim is the community.”

Lantz said Gillis would be well aware that his stash could have been stolen from his home, or that he might have used a gun in a moment of anger.

Lantz said Gillis might have a “possibility of rehabilitation” in time to come.

Lantz banned Gillis from owning any weapon for 10 years, to have his DNA profile entered into a national databank, and to pay a total of $1,000 to the victims of crime fund.

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