Gun smuggling suspect arrested in Langley

MAK90 Semi-automatic weapon - submitted photo
MAK90 Semi-automatic weapon
— image credit: submitted photo

An Osoyoos man arrested in Langley for allegedly trying to sell a semi-automatic rifle to an undercover police officer is out on bail.

Tyler Ryan Cuff, 30, was released on $1,000 bail on Sept. 3 and makes his next court appearance in Surrey Provincial Court Oct. 16.

He was arrested in Langley on Aug. 29.

Cuff is charged with two counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm, and one count each of careless use of a firearm contravening storage regulations and firearms trafficking.

The man, who was not previously known to police, was arrested without incident near the intersection of 200 Street and 88 Avenue after allegedly selling an assault-style Norinco MAK-90 rifle and several steroid kits.

The arrest is the result of an investigation that began with a tip in May that a 30-year-old man, who happened to be a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen, was possibly smuggling firearms from Washington state into B.C.

The Combined Special Forces Unit of B.C. began an undercover investigation, dubbed Project E-Passkey, after it was learned that the man was living in Osoyoos.

Investigators determined he was allegedly using his dual citizen status to legally purchase firearms at various Washington State gun shows.

It is believed that the man used a truck and a car to smuggle the guns through the Oroville, Wash./Osoyoos border crossing.

Through the course of the investigation, evidence was gathered regarding the alleged gun smuggling and it was further uncovered that possibly dozens of guns, believed to be mostly Glock handguns, were being sold to various gang-related groups both in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland.

The investigation is ongoing and CFSEU-BC is currently examining whether any firearms that Cuff is alleged to have smuggled and sold have any connections to any other police investigations, how many firearms may have been brought into Canada, and how many guns may have been sold and to whom.

“We all know that guns in the hands of gangsters put everyone at risk,” says CFSEU-BC spokesperson Sgt. Lindsey Houghton.

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