A man from Canada was arrested after authorities say he swam to the United States to buy a gun.
“He was unable to obtain a gun in Canada, so he researched pawn shops that sell guns in the United States,” according to an affidavit.
On Sept. 6, Macomb County sheriff’s deputies were called to a pawn shop in New Haven, Michigan, about a man accused of coming in and stealing a gun.
The employees at the pawn shop told deputies the man came in and asked to see a gun. The employee handed him a .22-caliber pistol and two magazines. The man then asked to look at another gun, and when the employee went to get it, the man took off with the pistol and magazines, according to an affidavit.
McClatchy News reached out to the man’s attorney on Sept. 18, but he did not wish to comment.
When deputies arrived, they found a man matching the suspect’s description running behind the pawn shop, according to the affidavit. After chasing him, they found him hiding in a nearby wooded area, court records say.
Deputies said they arrested him at gunpoint. Nearby they found a zip-close bag with the stolen pistol loaded with one magazine containing nine .22 bullets in it, and a second magazine, according to a police report.
Once deputies took the man to jail, they learned he was not a U.S. citizen and was from Canada. He then told an FBI agent he crossed into the U.S. illegally by swimming across the St. Clair River near Sombra, Ontario, about 40 miles northeast of Detroit, the affidavit says.
He told the FBI agent he swam across wearing a wetsuit, flotation device and swimming fins, according to court records. He then walked from East China to the pawn shop in New Haven, about 15 miles, but got hot so he took off the wetsuit and stashed it, the affidavit says.
The FBI agent said he told the agent he planned to swim back to Canada with the gun.
Investigators said they were able to locate the wetsuit he stashed. They also found a crossbow pistol and a hammer he said he brought with him “in case he needed it to break into the pawn shop,” according to the affidavit.
The FBI agent said while interviewing the man, he said he had previously been arrested in Canada on a gun charge. He said authorities took that gun, but he still had the bullets, which is why he needed a .22 caliber gun.
The man is being charged with improper entry by alien, alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possession of a stolen firearm.