NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Four Canadian men and an American woman are facing charges after police in B.C. say they busted an international gun smuggling operation.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says more than 80 weapons were seized during raids last weekend in Vernon, Penticton, Summerland and a simultaneous raid by U.S. police in Pace, Fla.
Thirty-two-year-old Riley Stewart Kotz of Vernon is facing 34 weapons charges, and police say more charges are likely, while other charges are pending against the remaining suspects.
Police say the raids followed a 10-month undercover investigation that reached from the Vancouver area to the Okanagan, as well as Florida, Montana and Louisiana.
The weapons seized include several AK-type assault rifles, and police say some would have made their way to gang members.
They also say some of the guns were re-engineered from decommissioned weapons, and investigators found magazines that were meant to be five or 10 rounds that had been increased in capacity to 75 rounds.