By Lynda Powless and Victoria Gray
Turtle Island News staff Exclusive
A community protest, weekend manhunt and almost 60 gun and stolen vehicle related charges later Brett Elgin Elliott Sr., considered a high risk offender, is being released after serving almost two of his three year sentence.
Correctional Services of Canada has confirmed that Elliott is scheduled to be released May 5, 2021 and according to parole officials has “showed no remorse” nor is he accepting responsibility for actions that landed him in prison. He was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to almost 60 gun charges in 2019.
Turtle Island News sources say he will be released to a halfway house in Brantford.
Elliott became the centre of a Six Nations drug protest March 4, 2018 when a crowd of almost 100 people gathered on the roadway outside his home at 2130 Cayuga Rd. that is next door to the I.L. Thomas Elementary School. The crowd complained of alleged drug activity after drug paraphernalia had been found on the school grounds next door.
The crowd moved to Elliott’s driveway and with councilor Melba Thomas in the lead walked up to Elliott’s porch. Elliott, then 50, came outside holding a black pump-action Norinco sawed-off shotgun along with two other men, who were also armed. No shots were fired
After hours of a standoff OPP tactical units and Six Nations Police armed with a warrant to search the house moved onto the property and house. Elliott was not at the home but police found guns, crossbows and ammunition throughout the house as well as stolen vehicles outdoors throughout the property. Of 27 firearms recovered, four were prohibited sawed-off shotguns the court learned.
No one in the Elliott home had a gun licence. He faced 11 firearm charges and 50 charges in relation to stolen vehicles found on his property.
The protest and subesequent man hunt closed the school for a week but students were off for two weeks, because the following week was March break.
Failing to locate him at his home Six Nations Police launched a manhunt of Six Nations. After community members said they spotted him. Six Nations Police obtained another search warrant for a Sixth Line Road house . Elliott wasn’t at the house but police seized a cache of firearms.
After receiving a tip March13, 2018 Six Nations Police and the OPP emergency response team corridoned off a Tuscarora Road property where Elliott was seen running out of the house and into a nearby bush. Elliott surrendered after being tracked by the OPP canine unit.
Community members and Six Nations Elected Council sent letters to Six Nations Police asking that Elliott not be released on bail. Police shared the letters with the Crown Attorney’s office.
A plea deal, aimed at preventing what could have been a trial lasting over a month on the almost 60 charges from the single event and another 42 charges from 2005, 2006, and 2007 that included 11 charges for firearm offences, assault police and failing to comply with conditions, was reached. The court agreed to drop charges against Elliott’s mother, wife and three other family members . The defence noted that Elliott, in addition to pleading guilty, also gave up his right to have his case heard in the Indigenous person’s court and to get a Gladue pre-sentence report . The report considers an offender’s Indigenous background. In return, Elliott got a lighter prison sentence.
Justice Joseph Nadel said at the time that with dozens of charges spread over a number of years and over several jurisdictions, the court was looking at a long trial. As a result he agreed with a joint submission of three years in prison for Elliott, telling Elliott he was getting a break.
“In the past, young men with semi-automatic weapons have received a sentence of four years for one weapon, ” said Nadal, who gave Elliott credit for time served.
Elliott also was ordered to have no weapons for the rest of his life. However while all the firearms seized in 2018 were to be forfeited Nadel agreed they will not be destroyed until Elliott can apply to save some after claiming they were needed so he can hunt to sustain himself.