While carrying out a weapons trafficking investigation in the West Shore area on March 2, the West Shore RCMP’s crime reduction unit seized three firearms as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The crime reduction unit – whose mandate is to target drug dealers and prolific offenders on the West Shore – identified a man believed to be attempting to trade a firearm or firearms for street drugs.
The investigation led them to execute a search warrant at a residence in Langford where three firearms, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition, were seized. All firearms and ammunition where stored in an unsafe manner contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.
One of the guns, a semi-automatic SKS rifle, had been altered to include an aftermarket synthetic stock as well as a prohibited 21-round magazine.
“This seizure of firearms and ammunition is a direct result of street-level drug trafficking. The dangers of drug trafficking effect all communities in the Victoria area,” said Const. David MacDonald, a member of the unit. “The West Shore crime reduction unit will continue to aggressively investigate drug traffickers.”
Const. Nancy Saggar of West Shore RCMP said at this point, police do not have any information to suggest that there was any particular gang involved.
“Any time that you’re going to have an addictions-related issue and there’s drugs that are involved there’s always the possibility that maybe gangs are there as well,” Saggar said.
There is nothing to indicate that the weapons are illegal, Saggar said, but she noted there is always the possibility that police will continue to uncover information that will lead to other investigations.
“Especially in this type of a scenario the potential is there to uncover further evidence that’s going to lead somewhere else,” Saggar said.
The suspect in the investigation is a 25-year-old male and resident of Langford.
“This individual had a level of addiction that was so high, he no longer had money to be able to buy drugs so he was now trading goods,” Saggar said. “The fact it had been altered, that there was a 21-round magazine that was now attached to this particular rifle makes it quite dangerous.”
The investigation is ongoing with evidence remaining to be examined.
A report recommending charges of weapons trafficking and unsafe storage of a firearm will be forwarded to Provincial Court at a later date.
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