Canadian border guards on July 21 picked off three people who allegedly attempted to smuggle in firearms from the U.S.
One of the seizures was made at the Osoyoos Port of Entry, bringing to eight the total number of guns seized at that crossing since Jan. 1, according to a Canada Border Services Agency press release issued Monday.
The incident saw officers allegedly seize a loaded .45-calibre handgun during secondary examination of an American man’s vehicle.
Cole Phillips has since been charged with single counts of possessing a restricted firearm and possessing a loaded firearm. He was released on $2,000 bail and is set to appear in provincial court in Penticton on Wednesday.
Phillips’s vehicle was also seized, but released upon payment of a $1,500 penalty.
Charges are also pending against the unidentified owner of a travel trailer in which two loaded handguns and five magazines were allegedly found under a bed during inspection at the Cascade Port of Entry near Christina Lake. Charges are pending.
Meanwhile, Randon Woolsey Lewis has already pleaded guilty and been fined $5,000 for attempting to smuggle three handguns and a Taser through the Kingsgate Port of Entry southeast of Creston.
Woolsely, whose nationality was not noted in the release, also paid a $3,500 penalty to reverse the seizure of his vehicle.
Border guards made a total of 30 seizures of firearms, weapons, parts and ammunition at crossings in the Okanagan and Kootenay districts between Jan. 1 and July 22, according to the CBSA, which noted anyone bringing guns or other weapons into Canada must declare the items and comply with national regulations.
“These interceptions and the consequences imposed emphasize the severity of this matter,” said Anita Andersson, the CBSA’s district director, in the release.
“Firearm laws, when entering Canada, are clear, and our border services officers are always on the lookout for illegal goods that could compromise the safety and security of Canada.”