Guns seized in cross-border smuggling investigation
TORONTO — A woman accused of smuggling guns in the gas tank of her rental car was part of an elaborate cross-border firearms trafficking operation that has been dismantled, Toronto police alleged Wednesday as they announced multiple arrests in the case.
Thirty guns, more than a hundred rounds of ammunition, 13 kg of marijuana and 280 grams of cocaine in various forms were seized in a multi-jurisdictional investigation involving the Toronto Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
“I think we’ve effectively dismantled one firearm importation ring,” said acting Insp. Don Belanger, standing at a podium surrounded by the handguns and bags of drugs that officers had seized. “Every one of these guns, there’s one purpose for it. They’re to be sold to the criminal element in Toronto and the GTA.”
The probe came to a head when a woman was caught at the Peace Bridge border crossing late last month allegedly trying to smuggle 25 of those guns into Canada, he said, noting that each handgun had been individually wrapped in plastic and submerged in the gas tank of her rented Nissan Rogue.
“Every single one of these guns ended up doused in gasoline, so they did a very poor job of sealing them,” he said. “For me, this is absolutely a first.”