Grandvilliers. Grenades, shells, ammunition, specimens of wildlife: a junk dealer fined 22,220 euros

Grandvilliers. Grenades, shells, ammunition, specimens of wildlife: a junk dealer fined 22,220 euros

The junk dealer offered for sale on July 10 in Grandvilliers various objects, including a shell (as above) and a grenade. Illustrative photo: DR.

On the spot, the junk dealer Erick Tellot may well explain to them that the grenade, mounted as a lamp, is pierced at both ends and that in addition it is filled with plaster, that the shell is completely empty, nothing helps. Customs officers want to know where the dangerous goods he transported from his home in Hébécourt, in the Eure, come from. The customs officers call the deminers who are stationed in Laon and set up a security perimeter in the middle of this flea market, the largest in the department after that of Crèvecœur-le-Grand. All this in the most total incomprehension of the Sunday junk dealer who, like his wife, finds himself handcuffed and taken to the customs headquarters, in Tillé. A search of his home is ordered. A second transport to the department of Eure is therefore set up.

The house is visited from top to bottom. The customs officers found heaps of heterogeneous objects there, but above all 22 weapons, including hunting rifles, carbines, a few weapons of war and nearly 400 munitions. And it’s not over. There are also specimens of wildlife threatened with extinction: a leopard skin, turtle shells, a crocodile… Which he is unable to say since when they have been there. Ditto for his wife who declares to the customs officers: “I’m not very aware, it’s been there forever, for 25 to 30 years“. She didn’t even know her husband had a gun.

I was a hunter, these are my hunting weapons and my collection, he explains. The grenade contains plaster, the shells are empty and come from fairgrounds“.

The defendant, Erick Tellot.

“A monumental bullshit”

Of course, he has no proof. The search completed, return to Tillé. This time, the customs officers entrust the defendant to the Froissy gendarmes for his presentation to the Beauvais prosecutor’s office, which was refused his request for provisional detention by the judge of freedoms. The latter did not even place him under judicial supervision pending his judgment in immediate appearance to answer for five counts of prevention.

Among the weapons found in his home, only four are declared, some are inherited from the father and grandfather. The ammunition is from when he was hunting. He knew that the declaration of arms and ammunition is compulsory. He didn’t, because he doesn’t use it and he intended to dispose of it at a police station. The leopard skin was bought in a sales room, about thirty years ago, he no longer has the invoice. The turtle shell and the two crocodiles come from the inheritance of the grandfather…”I knew it was banned for sale“, he confesses. He thinks it’s allmonumental bullshit“.

The prosecutor insists on the seriousness of the offences:

“He had weapons in his home, with no security. What would have happened in case of theft by malicious people? Customs estimated the price of the guns. Their market value corresponds to the amount of the customs fine: 27,950 euros“.

The prosecutor, Amandine Scotto.

She is also asking for a five-month suspended probationary sentence with the obligation to pay the fines and the sums due to the public treasury, as well as the confiscation of all weapons.

Clean locker and entrepreneur

The defendant’s lawyer, Julie Courtin, believes that there is a discrepancy between his personality and what he is accused of. “His record is blank and he has set up his own mirror business which employs two people. At the beginning he is reproached for exposing a grenade full of plaster and empty shells. He remained handcuffed until he was handed over to the Froissy gendarmes who treated him humanely and released his wife. He has arms, like others have stamps. He’s a regular citizen“. She wonders how the market value of weapons is determined.

Arbitrarily, not by qualified experts, this is not normal. Protected species are governed by the Washington Convention. They must be photographed and described, their Latin name must be indicated. Just because they said it doesn’t mean it has to be true. It does not work like that. Five months suspended sentence and a colossal fine, is this the right way ?”

The defendant’s lawyer, Julie Courtin.

The lawyer was partly right. Erick Tello was released from the possession of protected species; he was given a three-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 22,220 euros. The seals were confiscated, except endangered species and declared weapons. His hunting license is withdrawn, and he must no longer possess weapons for five years.

He has ten days to appeal this decision. He seems determined to do so as the amount of the fine is phenomenal.

CL

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