Over 100 charges have been laid against five Edmonton men after a two month investigation into firearm trafficking.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) investigation included officers from the Edmonton Police Service, RCMP and National Weapons Enforcement Support team.
On Sept. 23, ALERT officers seized three rifles, five handguns, body armour, silencers and a crate of various rounds of ammunition as a result of executing four search warrants in west Edmonton.
ALERT alleged the guns were being legally acquired before being “fraudulently” supplied to Edmonton-area criminal networks. They said in some instances, the guns were being altered or had their serial numbers removed before hitting the black market.
— ALERT (@ALERT_AB) October 27, 2016
Inside one of the homes was a workshop that police believe may have been used to alter the guns and produce silencers. Silas Armich, 38, Adrian Barnes, 38, Desmond Rock, 36, and Justin Shipowich, 38, were arrested on the same day the search warrants were executed. James Pike, 38, was arrested last week. Altogether, the accused face 107 charges ranging from a variety of firearms offences – including firearms trafficking – to providing a false statement.
ALERT said Barnes has a lifetime firearms prohibition because of a previous conviction for importing prohibited firearms. They said he was arrested in 2009 while trying to enter Canada with 10 semi-automatic handguns. (kb) (with files from Global News)