Five men from across Metro Vancouver are facing a host of charges after police made same-day arrests in connection with an investigation into firearms trafficking.
Police executed warrants on March 7 at homes and businesses in Langley, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, and Maple Ridge, resulting in arrests and the seizure of a cache of guns and drugs.
Police seized six handguns as well as prohibited firearms magazines and firearms parts, including one component capable of making a firearm fully automatic, according to a release from B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit.
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Besides the firearms, police also found one kilogram of a substance they suspect to be cocaine, some suspected fentanyl, and 80 litres of a substance used in making MDMA, also known as ecstasy.
“We have seen time and time again that trafficked firearms, no matter where they come from, are being used in crime and too often end up connected to tragedy,” stated CFSEU-BC Insp. Joel Hussey in a press release.
A 30-year-old Coquitlam man is facing one count of manufacturing or transferring a prohibited firearm.
Working with New Westminster Police, CFSEU-BC began investigating a suspected firearms trafficker in the fall of 2022. The investigation led authorities to other suspects thought to be involved in selling illegal firearms.
Prior to March 7, the investigation resulted in the seizure of two rifles, a handgun with a suppressor and prohibited ammunition, as well as three Glock handguns and a Beretta with suppressors.
Early results of forensic examinations indicate the firearms were sourced domestically and internationally, according to the release.
Police are set to work with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as other international partners to figure out where the firearms came from.
None of the charges have been proved in court.