GREAT FALLS — A Canada resident today was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and one year of supervised release after he admitted trying to smuggle firearms into Canada from the United States, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Colby Stephan Skolseg, 44, of Alberta, was arraigned, pleaded guilty to attempted illegal export as charged in a superseding indictment and was sentenced during the hearing.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
The prosecution said in court documents filed in the case that in September 2010, Skolseg and an accomplice attempted to illegally export eight handguns from Montana into Canada. The firearms had obliterated serial numbers and were hidden in an aquarium cooler. The plan was to resell the handguns in Canada. Canadian law enforcement was able to restore the serial numbers.
Two years later, Skolseg and his accomplice resumed their handgun smuggling and used websites instead of making personal trips to the United States. The pair illegally exported 25 additional handguns from West Virginia into Calgary through varying shipments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Montana Department of Justice, Department of Motor Vehicle Licensing Services; the Canada Border Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police forensic lab and investigations divisions.