Surrey RCMP say they have seized more than 30 firearms, body armour, and over 100,000 rounds of various calibre ammunition on Dec. 1 from a warehouse in Coquitlam after a “long-term proactive” investigation into firearms trafficking.
A 42-year-old Coquitlam resident was arrested and later released pending investigation, police announced on Wednesday (Dec. 21).
RCMP say that on Dec. 1, Surrey RCMP, the Lower Mainland Integrated Emergency Response Team and the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) executed a search warrant at a business in 1300-block of Ketch Court in Coquitlam.
The warrant was in relation to a long-term investigation that started in Surrey in early 2022, police say. Surrey RCMP had started investigating a Provincial Tactical Enforcement Priority (PTEP) target living in Surrey at the time. PTEP targets are people who are identified as individuals or groups that pose a risk to public safety, either through their behavior or links to organized crime.
The man did not have any known ties to gangs but did pose a risk to public safety, stated Cpl. Vanessa Munn, Surrey RCMP media relations officer, in a news release on Wednesday.
Cpl. Munn stated the investigation results showed the suspect was selling firearms and showed no judgment about who he was selling the firearms to.
Insp. Ryan Element, a proactive enforcement officer with Surrey RCMP, stated that even though the firearms were seized in Coquitlam, “they had the potential to be sold and used to carry out acts of violence in any one of our communities.”
“Seizures of this nature directly impact all of our safety.”
The items seized related to firearms trafficking from the business include:
• 3D printed AR15 lower receiver accompanied by a manufactured .22 caliber upper receiver;
• Suppressor for a rifle;
• 4 air soft guns;
• .22 caliber upper conversion kit with ammunition;
• Body armour;
• Over 100,000 rounds of ammunition of various calibers;
• Several hundred magazines (many of which were loaded and prohibited);
• 37 firearms, including 2 3D printed Glock ghost guns, 1 pistol, 26 Carbine/Assault style rifles, 2 shotguns and 6 hunting rifles.