MASSENA - Village police charged Jean C. Yasseer, 46, of 1035 Carroll Court, Norcross, Ga., with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon Thursday afternoon as part of a joint investigation with federal authorities.
The Georgia man told Canadian Customs authorities he had left his weapon at his hotel room when he was seeking entrance to Canada. The Georgia man is not permitted to have a pistol in New York state and is also prohibited from carrying a weapon as the result of a charge stemming from a domestic incident in August.
Village police said they located a loaded .22 Magnum calibre AMT Automag II pistol in his hotel room at the Quality Inn. Police said the weapon was loaded with nine rounds of ammunition and an additional 70-plus rounds were with the weapon.
He was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released after posting $500 cash bail.
Yasseer, in a statement he provided police, said he was traveling from Georgia to visit his brother in Massena.
When I was driving, I realized I had my pistol with me and didnt know if I could bring it into Canada. I checked the website, and it was clearly marked I could not. I got a room at the Quality Inn in Massena. I stayed there overnight and decided to pay for the room for a couple extra nights, , and I would leave the pistol in the room until I got back, he told police.
Yasseer said he left the pistol, a gift he said he had received from his ex-wife in 1991, in the bottom drawer in the dresser in his hotel room. The magazine was full but nothing was in the chamber. It also had two boxes of ammunition with it. It was in a holster, he said.
At no time was I aware I could not possess the pistol in New York state. I legally own this in Georgia, and I am not required to have a permit in Georgia, he noted.
A statement from a Canadian Border Services Agency intelligence officer assigned to the Border Security Task Force, said Yasseer had told him about the gun he had left in the hotel room when he was questioned about his reason for seeking entry to Canada. He said Yasseer told him the pistol was registered in Ohio and that he was a recreational shooter.
Yasseer, in his statement to police, said he had been denied entrance to Canada after he responded affirmatively when asked if he had ever been arrested.
I advised her I had been arrested for a domestic offense in August but it was being dismissed. I was just waiting for a court date. She had me pull over a secondary. After the secondary inspection, I was denied entry because there was no disposition on the case, he said.