'Dr. Frankenstein' of weapons arrested in South Okanagan
Two assault rifles and a sub-machine gun were among the items allegedly seized by police at an Osoyoos campground from a man previously convicted in a Penticton courtroom of attempted murder.
Bradley Michael Friesen, 37, now faces a total 46 charges, including gun trafficking and importing or exporting weapons parts, including silencers and switches used to automate firearms.
He was arrested July 17 at the Nk’Mip Campground in Osoyoos, where police seized “numerous firearms and firearms-related prohibited devices” from his van and tent, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spokesman Sgt. Lindsay Houghton said in a press release.
“Many of the devices found in the van were stashed underneath a booster seat in which Friesen’s five-year old son was seated, as well as at the feet of the child,” said Houghton, who described Friesen as the “Dr. Frankenstein” of guns.
More firearms and weapons parts were allegedly seized from Friesen’s home and workshop in Surrey, where he’s currently being held in jail pending a court appearance there.
He’s alleged to have sold his wares via the Internet to people in the U.S. and Australia.
The CFSEU, a B.C. police task force aimed at fighting organized crime, handled the case in conjunction with counterparts at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Friesen, who the CFSEU alleges was also supplying mid-level crime groups, has a lengthy criminal record, including a 2003 conviction in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton for attempted murder.
According to media reports from the time, Friesen was attempting to collect a $600 debt from a man he shot in the stomach outside his Osoyoos home in 2001, and later was sentenced to five years in a mental-health facility.
A psychiatrist told Friesen’s sentencing hearing that Friesen “heard voices and experienced hallucinations,” according to a 2005 decision from the B.C. Court of Appeal, which denied a request to overturn the conviction.