Week in Review - 01 Sep 2023 Archive

Here's what you need to know from the past week
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Friday, September 1, 2023

CCFR Radio – Ep 148 Sneak Peek (Full Episode coming Tuesday!)

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Gun Buyback Plan In Trouble

The Department of Public Safety acknowledges stiff resistance to its national buyback of prohibited firearms as costly and pointless. An in-house report confirmed fewer than half of owners would voluntarily surrender their firearms and 12 percent will never comply.

“Often the ban and the buyback program were seen as wasteful because the policy isn’t aimed at stopping illegal gun smuggling and sales,” said the report Buyback Program Awareness Campaign. “Most firearms owners did not see themselves or their peers as a major factor in gun crimes in Canada.”

Cabinet three years ago proposed a mandatory buyback of some 200,000 firearms it considered “assault-style” at its estimated cost of $300 million to $400 million. An amnesty period for owners expires October 30.

The buyback initially scheduled to start this past spring was delayed without explanation. Anticipated costs range as high as $756 million according to the Budget Office, twice the department’s estimate.

“Most firearms owners think inner cities have the highest rate of firearms violence in Canada,” said Buyback Awareness. “Just 10 percent think small towns and rural areas have the highest rates. Firearms owners feel the biggest causes of gun violence are gang violence, organized crime and general criminal activity.”

“There has been a significant decline over the past year in firearms owners’ rating of the government’s performance on introducing measures to address gun-related violence,” said the report. Asked, “How would you rate the performance of the Government of Canada when it comes to introducing measures to address gun-related violence?” 26 percent called it “poor.” Another 24 percent rated it “fair.” Just 15 percent called it “excellent.”

Findings were based on questionnaires with 2,000 gun owners nationwide and eight federal focus groups with hunters and sports shooters “to help understand how firearms owners perceive the buyback program including their intent to participate.” The department paid $158,856 for the report by Environics Research.

Continue reading at Blacklock's Reporter (Subscription Required)
See also: Parallel story at Postmedia

“In a piece of luggage investigators found “dozens of black socks containing pistols.” The affidavit then says beneath the socks were several AR style and AK style rifles. In all, three rifles, 31 pistols and 121 rounds of ammunition were found. Investigators questions Williams and she told them she’s paid to fly from Canada to the US where she travels to Toledo to meet a driver.

She went on to say she accompanies the driver and various bags to New York state, leaves the bags at different locations in New York and then travels back to Canada through a port of entry land border crossing.

Williams told investigators she was transporting something illegal across the U.S. and that the “product” was headed to Canada.

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Toronto police seize 28 handguns from hotel room, man faces over 130 charges

Toronto police announced the results of a firearm investigation that involves one Ottawa man facing over 130 combined charges stemming from the seizure of 28 handguns in his hotel room.

The investigation commenced around 3 p.m. on August 21 after police received a call about several firearms found in a hotel room in the York Mills Road and Don Mills Road area in North York.

It’s alleged that staff from the hotel were cleaning a room and found three firearms. After police arrived, they located several handguns, eventually leading to authorities discovering an additional 25 guns in the hotel room.

On Monday, police revealed that they had seized 20 Glock Pistols, four Springfield Armory Pistols, three Smith & Wesson Pistols and a Sig Sauer Pistol, including multiple rounds of ammunition.

Continue reading at CityNews Toronto

Yukon RCMP arrest man allegedly involved in organized crime, seize guns and drugs

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man who was wanted since last year on several drug and organized crime-related charges.

Police say they arrested Taylor Duke of Whitehorse on Thursday morning while executing a search warrant in the Takhini Hot Springs Road area outside Whitehorse. The search was related to a shooting that happened in Whitehorse on July 10 that police had said was believed to be a targeted incident.

They also seized a collection of 11 shotguns, rifles, handguns, and other illegal firearms, ammunition and high-capacity magazines, quantities of drugs that appear to include Xanax, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, hundreds of unidentified capsules, as well as $163,887 in cash.

"The drugs and firearms seized through this investigation represent a significant disruption to drug trafficking and potential violence in our territory," said RCMP Supt. Lindsay Ellis, speaking Wednesday at a news conference. The seized goods lay spread out on a table before her.

"Just the guns and drugs seized from this one residence demonstrates the real danger that is in our communities. Substance use in communities goes hand in hand with drug trafficking and organized crime."

Duke is now facing 25 criminal charges.

Before last week's arrest, he was the subject of arrest warrants for failing to attend court last December and again in March. He was facing several charges, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, participating in a criminal organization, and committing an offence for a criminal organization.

Duke had been arrested in June 2022 along with several others after police searched two Whitehorse residences and seized more guns, drugs and cash.  

At the time, police touted the bust as one of the largest seizures of fentanyl in the Yukon. They also said it was likely the first time that anybody in Yukon had been charged under section 467.1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with organized crime.

Duke also now faces several new charges related to a shooting in Whitehorse last month, including attempted murder with a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Police said more charges were expected to be laid in relation to last week's search warrant.

Continue reading at CBC News

Two arrested in northern Ont., 3D printed firearms, drugs seized

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) together with local law enforcement agencies in northern Ontario and beyond have made several recent arrests as part of a nation-wide operations cracking down on the manufacturing and trafficking of privately-made firearms.

In North Bay, two individuals were recently arrested in connection to an investigation of 3D printed firearms.

“Two people face multiple firearm-related charges after the OPP-led Provincial Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team and North Bay Police Service (NBPS) seized a 3D printer, loaded 3D printed firearms, ammunition and suspected fentanyl,” said OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique, in a recent social media post.

Images shared on social media show two 3D printed hand guns and a 3D printer found within a residence.

“Thank you to the OPP-led Provincial Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team for their ongoing partnership in cases like this,” said the NBPS in a subsequent social media post.

“Working together we are helping make all Ontario communities safer.”

Carrique said investigators are doing good work in these types of cases.

Continue reading at CTV News

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Sudbury Drug Enforcement Unit seizes over $62,500 in drugs and two firearms during search warrant

This summer, Detectives from the Greater Sudbury Police Service Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) began an investigation into individuals believed to be trafficking illicit drugs in Greater Sudbury.

Shortly before 5:00 a.m. on August 30, 2023, members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) along with members of the Integrated Crime Section (ICS) conducted a search warrant at a residence on Bulmer Avenue.

In total, officers seized over 135 grams of Fentanyl, over 80 grams of Cocaine, a handgun, a sawed-off shot gun, various weapons, a bullet-proof vest, numerous rounds of ammunition and over $3,000 in cash. The estimated street value of the drugs is over $62,500. Officers also recovered two stolen mountain bikes valued at over $15,000.

As a result of the investigation, 39-year old, Rylee Noble, 39-year old, Steven Vucenovic, 41-year old, Taylor Mackenzie, 48-year-old, Martin Owen and 40-year-old, Rebecca Puris have been charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA);

  • Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking x2
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm x2
  • Careless storage of a firearm x2
  • Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition
  • Tampering with serial number
  • Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000
Continue reading at Greater Sudbury Police Service

Judge denies Tuxedo, MB family's request to end police curfew checks that 'humiliated' them

A Winnipeg couple living in the affluent Tuxedo neighbourhood learned that the criminal justice system applies equally to all those accused and out on bail despite their family's financial circumstances.

A 21-year-old man accused of multiple offences, including manufacturing 3D-printed guns, applied for a bail review in Manitoba's Court of King's Bench. In support of their son, his parents filed affidavits on Aug. 10 in which they asked that police curfew checks on their son be dropped.

Daniel Bell, 21, is charged with numerous offences, including manufacturing 3D-printed guns and possessing firearms and body armour without a licence.

Bell is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in court. His parents said in an affidavit they have been told it could take at least 18 months for their son's case to work its way through the courts.

Bell was arrested in June and spent nine days in remand before being let out on bail. His parents, who are his sureties, put up half a million dollars to secure his release. They also paid $10,000 cash and say Bell put up another $50,000.

"That alone was a great punishment for a decent and good middle-class young man with no prior offences, but since being released on bail to live with us, Daniel has been repeatedly traumatized by curfew checks at our home day and night," wrote Bell's father in an affidavit to the court.

At a bail review hearing on Aug. 21, the Crown argued the family was attempting to use their privilege to request a "different level of justice," and the judge agreed.

"The fact that he's gotten bail in my view is quite remarkable," said Justice Herbert Rempel.

As part of his release, Bell has an absolute curfew, meaning he must be home at all times. He's only allowed to leave while accompanied by one or both of his parents, unless he's at work or university. He must answer the door or phone when police conduct curfew checks.

The family says since Bell was released on bail, police have showed up at their home 22 times over a period of 53 days. On some of those occasions, police knocked on their door in the middle of the night while they were asleep.

Justice Rempel said if this case had been heard in his court, he would have denied Bell's release in the first place. 

"I would say to Mr. Bell you are extremely fortunate to be out. The fact that you have the inconvenience of curfew checks and disrupted sleep I think is just a minor inconvenience that you're going to have to deal with in the circumstances," said Rempel.

The family said in affidavits that the police curfew checks are happening at all hours of the day and night and they are worried what their neighbours must think.

"This is an extreme violation of our human rights, and it is cruel and abusive. What must neighbours think of this and what might be happening at our house to warrant this," wrote the dad in an affidavit to the court. 

"Our reputation on our street is being severely jeopardized," he wrote.

Continue reading at CBC News

Video shows moments surrounding fatal downtown Kitchener shooting

CTV News has obtained extensive surveillance video of what happened immediately before and after an 18-year-old Kitchener man was fatally shot outside a downtown business earlier this month.

Family members have identified Joshua Tarnue as the victim of the deadly Aug. 13 shooting.

The video shows crucial moments, including a brief exchange between Tarnue and the shooter, before the interaction turns violent.

Police said officers responded to the area of Queen Street South and Charles Street around 10:20 p.m. for reports of shots fired.

When they arrived, police found Tarnue with gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police are still looking for the suspect.

In the wake of the shooting, police put out a public plea for information, saying officers believed around 10 people could have been present and witnessed the shooting, but some are being uncooperative.

Police believe the shooting was targeted, but Lambert said they’re still investigating the true motive behind the attack.

“We’re not going to stop speaking to some of these witnesses who are uncooperative and we want to get the story straight,” Lambert said.

On Aug. 23, police released a separate grainy video of the suspect, who they said arrived in the area on a white motorized scooter.

“We want to understand exactly what happened prior to the incident, at the time of the incident and after the incident took place.”

Police said the suspect is described as a Black male with a thin build. He was last seen running from the Queen and Charles area, wearing jeans, a dark sweatshirt with a hood cinched tightly around his face, and a surgical mask.

If seen, police said the public should not approach him and instead call 911.

Tarnue’s death is the second homicide in Waterloo Region this year.

Continue reading at CTV News Kitchener

Canadian Forces Base commander facing firearms charges in eastern Ontario

A man accused of firing a gun from a boat on the Murray Canal in eastern Ontario is a colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force and a Canadian Forces Base commander.

The Department of National Defence confirms to CTV News Ottawa that Col. Leif Dahl, commander of 8 Wing and CFB Trenton, is the individual Quinte West OPP have charged following an incident on Aug. 25.

"The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is aware of a hunting-related incident that took place on Friday, August 25 involving Colonel Leif Dahl, the Commander of 8 Wing and CFB Trenton," a DND spokesperson said in an email.

"The Ontario Provincial Police have laid five charges against Colonel Dahl. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, Col. Dahl is scheduled to appear in court on September 28."

According to Ontario Provincial Police, officers were called to the Murray Canal in Quinte West, on reports someone was shooting at wildlife from a boat. The boat was gone by the time police arrived, but it was later located.

Police learned a firearm was thrown into the canal and OPP divers were sent to recover it.

Dahl is facing charges of obstructing a peace officer, careless use of a firearm, careless use of a firearm while hunting, hunting birds without a licence, and unlawfully having a loaded firearm in a conveyance.

The military said it would have more to say on Dahl's status "in due course," but declined to comment further because the case is now before the courts.

Dahl assumed command of 8 Wing Trenton on July 29, 2022.

Continue reading at CTV News

Apple Security Chief Must Face Bribery Charge Over Gun Permits

Apple Inc.’s chief security officer must face a criminal charge that he bribed California officials for gun licenses after a state appeals court revived a case that was dismissed two years ago.

A three-judge state appeals court panel ruled Friday that a lower court judge shouldn’t have thrown out a bribery charge against Thomas Moyer, who was accused of promising to donate 200 iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to gain approval for concealed firearm permits that had previously been withheld from four Apple employees.

The company pursued the gun permits starting in 2017 so that Apple’s executive protection team could be armed after Moyer’s staff reported receiving more serious threats against Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, according to the ruling.

A two-year investigation by the district attorney’s office found that two officials in the sheriff’s office held up the issuance of the concealed firearms licenses until the applicants gave something of value. In California, concealed weapon permits are issued by county sheriffs based on a finding of “good cause” to approve a resident’s application.

The iPad donations worth $50,000 to $80,000 were scuttled in 2019 when Moyer learned that the handling of weapons permits by the sheriff’s office was being investigated, according to the ruling.

In 2020, Moyer and the two sheriff’s officials were indicted by a grand jury. Moyer was charged with bribing an executive officer by making “a promise of iPads to the Sheriff’s Office” with the intent to influence an official action, according to the ruling.

Moyer’s lawyers then persuaded a county superior court judge to dismiss the charge on the grounds that a prosecutor gave erroneous instructions about the law to the grand jury.

While in the American context, this is a typical story of privileged people wanting the protection of a firearm, while others are told they must accept the risks of being defenceless. Justin Trudeau enjoys a large executive protection team, armed with concealed firearms, while he pushes gun bans on licenced and vetted Canadians.

Continue reading at BNN Bloomberg

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