Calgary Herald

‘Master of War’ enters guilty plea

75 charges for weapons, threats


John Sattler told police after they seized a cache of restricted and prohibited weapons from his northwest home nearly two years ago that he was the “Master of War.”

He also referred to himself as “the biggest hit man in the world and the smartest,” and said he owned 10 rocket launchers and “was thinking about shooting down the police helicopter because he thought it would be funny.”

Facing 75 criminal charges on Thursday, Sattler, 48, pleaded guilty to 11 of them, including pointing an imitation firearm at his mother and threatenin­g to kill her.

He also admitted to possessing six prohibited firearms with accessible ammunition, each of which attracts a minimum five-year sentence for a repeat weapons offender.

“In his statement to police, he purported to have a trailer full of guns he keeps in the U.S.,” Crown prosecutor Janice Rea, seeking a total sentence of seven years, told provincial court Judge Bob Wilkins. “The accused also purports to have a guy in the U.S. military that can supply him directly with anything (in weapons).”

Rea said Sattler’s statement to police — in particular the threat to blow up the police helicopter — gives the court some insight into his character.

“The number of weapons in his possession is nothing short of an arsenal,” Rea argued, noting he should be banned for life from owning or possessing any weapons.

Sattler had a similar conviction in 2000 for which he was fined $350. Now he faces a five-year minimum jail sentence.

“It has been a bitter pill for my client,” said lawyer Adriano Iovinelli. “Mr. Sattler said when I told him, ‘you gotta be kidding.’ He didn’t comprehend you could go from a fine to five years.”

Police showed off the cache of weapons to media after they searched Sattler’s home and arrested him, following a frantic phone call by his terrified mother from a neighbour’s home on Brisebois Drive that day.

The collection included automatic rifles, a throwing star, an anti-tank missile launcher and two AK-47s. They also found a sawed-off shotgun, an AR-15 Colt assault rifle with a scope, homemade silencers, bayonet, ammunition and a machete.

Police said at the time that most of the guns were unregister­ed, though some were registered.

Wilkins adjourned the case until today to set a date for sentencing.

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