Fort Erie, Ontario, May 25, 2012 – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today a firearms seizure at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie on May 16, and the successful conviction on May 14, from a separate firearms smuggling case dating back to last summer at the Blue Water Bridge.
At the Peace Bridge on May 16, a Florida resident attempted to enter Canada with a commercial shipment. After being questioned by the border services officer, the man stated he would be in Canada for the day and declared one shotgun. The driver was referred for a secondary inspection to verify his declaration. Upon examination of the cab of his truck, officers discovered the semi-automatic handgun and 10 loaded magazines concealed at the bottom of a homemade toilet. The 63-year-old man was arrested and charged by the CBSA with smuggling and making false statements contrary to the Customs Act.
In a separate and unrelated incident, on May 14, 2012, a 74-year-old California man pled guilty in an Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia to several firearm offences. He was fined a total of $30,000 and sentenced to 162 days pre-sentence custody for failing to report goods contrary to the Customs Act, and unauthorized possession of a firearm and knowledge of the presence of a firearm in the vehicle contrary to the Criminal Code.
The 74-year-old man was intercepted on August 3, 2011 at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia when attempting to enter Canada for a 17-day fishing trip. After being questioned by the border services officer, he declared several bottles of wine and gifts and, after being asked twice, declared no weapons or firearms. The driver was referred for a secondary inspection to verify his declaration and during this exam officers discovered a total of 11 handguns concealed in various compartments throughout the vehicle.
"The CBSA takes its border protection responsibilities very seriously, and our officers work diligently and vigilantly to prevent the smuggling of firearms across our borders," said Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region. "Stopping the smuggling of weapons at our border plays a big part in tackling crime and making our communities safer."
In 2011, CBSA officers in the Southern Ontario Region seized 128 firearms including 106 handguns, as well as 191 prohibited weapons.
The CBSA reminds all travellers that they are required to declare all goods they are bringing into Canada, including any firearms and weapons in their possession. Failure to declare goods (including firearms) and other Customs Act contraventions may lead to prosecution in a court of law. For information about your rights and obligations regarding the importation of firearms and other weapons into Canada, visit the CBSA Web site.
Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060. All calls are completely confidential.
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For media information
Canada Border Services Agency
Southern Ontario Region
Telephone: 905-354-2293 or 519-967-4330