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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Former Clayton Police Chief Jailed on Weapons Charge in Canada

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Thomas Byrne was apprehended at the Stanstead crossing, where Vermont meets Quebec. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/JIMMY EMERSON, DVM
  • Photo courtesy of Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM
  • Thomas Byrne was apprehended at the Stanstead crossing, where Vermont meets Quebec.

Updated at 2:42 p.m. with more information from court records.

Clayton's former top cop is facing charges he tried to smuggle a gun across the Canadian border, authorities say.

Ex-Clayton Police Chief Thomas Byrne is facing weapons charges in Canada.
  • Ex-Clayton Police Chief Thomas Byrne is facing weapons charges in Canada.
Thomas Byrne, who retired from the St. Louis suburb in 2013, was arrested by border officers on June 18 as he attempted to enter Quebec from Vermont, a Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman told the Riverfront Times.

The gun was a 9mm Smith & Wesson Springfield pistol, according to court documents.
The 66-year-old was charged with two weapons crimes, which allege he knowingly and illegally tried to sneak a firearm through the Stanstead crossing, about 100 miles southeast of Montreal. He was jailed and held for four days. On June 22, he appeared in a Quebec courtroom where he, his wife and another woman testified as part of a bail hearing, court records, written in French, show.

He was released after posting bail of $10,000 in Canadian currency, which translates to about $7,660 in the United States, according to court records.

The top charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Byrne is due back in court on August 23.

Now back home in Ballwin, the ex-chief refused to discuss the case when contacted by the RFT, or even say whether he had an attorney.

"I have no comment about that," said Byrne. "Have a good day."

The former lawman oversaw a department of more than 50 cops and a budget topping $6 million when he retired. He'd been with the department for 41 years.

At the time, he told the West End Word he planned to spend his retirement helping out his kids and grandchildren.

"I will also be doing some traveling with my wife," Byrne told the paper.

The details of the stop are still murky. The RFT has filed a request with Canadian court officials for records related to the case.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy

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