An Edmonton man has been charged with fraudulently purchasing firearms, following a tip and subsequent traffic stop on a busy Calgary highway.
According to the Calgary Police Service, investigators received a tip on May 15 that someone had purchased firearms using a compromised licence.
When the Guns and Gangs Unit looked into it, officers found that the firearms licence had previously been reported as lost along with other ID documents belonging to the owner of the licence.
Police believe the suspect was buying firearms from private sellers across the province using the fraudulent licence and identification documents. The sellers had posted the firearms on legitimate resale websites.
The suspect was arrested a week later on Calgary’s Deerfoot Trail following a traffic stop.
After the arrest, officers with the Edmonton Police Service searched a home in the 400 block of 84 Street S.W. in Edmonton and seized the following items:
Police said the weapons seized will taken for forensic analysis and examination.
Steven Thomas Marleau, 32, of Edmonton, was charged with the following offences:
Marleau is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, May 30.
Police said two other individuals were arrested at the time. One was released without charges and one was charged with minor offences. The identity of the person charged is not being released, police said.
CPS also said more charges could be laid as the investigation continues.
Calgary police thanked the various enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, which included the Chief Firearms Office of Alberta, Canadian Firearms Program, Edmonton Police Service and National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.
“We are asking citizens to be diligent in confirming who they are selling their firearms to,” CPS Staff Sgt. Greg Cooper said.
“While there are legitimate reasons for citizens to buy and sell firearms, these weapons can be deadly in the hands of criminals.”
CPS said anyone wanting to sell firearms privately should verify the identification and licence of a potential buyer via the Canadian Firearms Program by calling 1-800-731-4000. Lost or stolen firearms licences can be reported to both police and the Canadian Firearms Agency.