Alberta gun smuggler handed one-year prison sentence in United States

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The next attempt came two years later, when Skolseg and the accomplice arranged to export handguns from a seller in Wheeling, W. Va. Court documents state Skolseg made contact with the West Virginian via the now-defunct black market website Silk Road.

Skolseg arranged to have a total of 25 handguns shipped to Calgary, the documents state.

Around the same time, the West Virginia seller also attracted the attention of Israeli authorities, when a Glock pistol was discovered hidden inside a speaker bound for Jerusalem.

Skolseg, an Alberta resident, was first sought for extradition by U.S. authorities in 2017 on four countsof attempting to conceal items for illegal export and one count of possessing firearms with “obliterated” serial numbers. 

He fought removal in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench before eventually signalling his intent to travel south to plead guilty. He has not been charged with any crimes in Canada.

In March 2019, Queen’s Bench Justice Douglas Mah ruled there were sufficient grounds to extradite Skolseg to the U.S. to face trial. Earlier this month, Skolseg abandoned an extradition appeal set to be heard in Edmonton.

A photo of Colby Stephan Skolseg, included in a court exhibit.
An undated photo of Colby Stephan Skolseg, included in a court exhibit. Edmonton


Attempted illegal export carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart argued Skolseg deserved a 46- to 57-month prison sentence. A sentencing memo notes the United States places far fewer restrictions than Canada on handgun ownership.

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