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Canada Border Services Agency seize firearms at crossings in Okanagan and Kootenay Districts

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
August 11th, 2014

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have been busy of late, seizing firearms during vehicle searches at Osoyoos, Cascade (near Christina Lake) and Kingsgate (between Cranbrook and Creston) crossings the agency announced Monday in a press release.

The seizures happened at ports of entry (POE) on (Monday) July 21.

“These interceptions and the consequences imposed emphasize the severity of this matter,” Anita Andersson, Director, Okanagan and Kootenay District, Canada Border Services Agency said.

“Firearm laws, when entering Canada, are clear, and our border services officers are always on the lookout for illegal goods that could compromise the safety and security of Canada.”

At the Osoyoos POE, border services officers (BSO) seized a loaded .45 calibre handgun in a United State resident’s vehicle during a secondary examination.

Cole Phillips was charged with one count of smuggling under the Customs Act, one count of possessing a restricted firearm and one count of possessing a loaded firearm under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Phillips was released on $2,000 cash bail and is scheduled to appear in Penticton Provincial Court on Wednesday (August 13).

The firearm was seized with no terms of release. The vehicle was also seized and was released upon payment of a $1,500 penalty.
South of Christina Lake at the Cascade POE, Border officials discovered two loaded handguns and five magazines under the sleeping bed of a travel trailer during a vehicle examination.

Both firearms and ammunition and the vehicle were seized. The traveller was arrested and CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Section is pursuing charges.

The traveller paid a $2000 fine for the release of the vehicle, as well as $500 for his release based on recognisance to appear in court when summoned.
That same day, Randon Woolsey Lewis pled guilty to firearms smuggling for an incident dating back to July 21 at the Kingsgate port of entry.

Lewis had not declared any weapons; however, upon a thorough examination of his vehicle, BSOs seized three unloaded handguns, one taser and taser cartridges.

One handgun was found behind the driver’s seat, and the two other handguns, along with ammunition, were found in the box of the truck. The taser was found in the console above the rear-view mirror, and the taser cartridges were found in the center console.

Lewis pled guilty to one count of smuggling under the Customs Act, and one count of unauthorized possession of a firearm contrary to section 91(1) of the Criminal Code in the Creston Law Courts. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000 and a victim surcharge of $750.

 In addition, the firearms, weapons and taser cartridges were seized by CBSA with no terms of release.

The vehicle was seized and released upon payment of a $3,500 penalty.  
Quick Facts

  • From January 1 to July 22, 2014, border services officers made 30 seizures of firearms, weapons, parts and ammunition in the Okanagan and Kootenay Districts. A total of 22 firearms were seized (eight prohibited, 10 restricted and four non-restricted).
  •  Eight of these seizures occurred at the Osoyoos port of entry.
  •  Fifteen of these firearm seizure actions (21 firearms seized) took place during the summer months from May 1 through July 22, 2014.
  • The CBSA advises travellers that they are required to declare all goods they are bringing into Canada, including any firearms and weapons.
  • Canadian residents and non-residents importing firearms and weapons into Canada must declare them and meet all licensing and registration requirements under the Firearms Act.
  • Failure to declare goods, including firearms, and other Customs Act contraventions may lead to prosecution in a court of law.

Categories: Crime

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