More guns being taken from traffickers

Firearms often stolen during break-ins J.W. Schnarr Lethbridge Herald jwschnarr@lethbridgeherald.com As police continue their efforts to curb drug crime in Alberta, many agencies are reporting a disturbing trend as more firearms are being found in the possession of drug traffickers. That these weapons are being found in the presence of illicit substances such as methamphetamine is particularly troubling. “We’ve noticed an increase in firearms being seized within some of these investigations, and found in residences on warrant execution,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Walper of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams in Lethbridge. “It’s troubling for us in law enforcement, as well as these communities that these locations are in.” Chronic drug use, property crime, and firearms offences form a triangle of interconnected crime which adds complexity from a policing standpoint. Drug users who need money to support their habits often take part in property crime, which is easy to take part in as it often includes thefts from motor vehicles, break and enters to residences, and thefts from businesses. “They can take that property directly to a drug trafficker and exchange it for drugs,” Walper said. “On the other side, they can sell that property to others to obtain money, which they use to feed their drug habits.” Sometimes, guns are taken during the course of these property crimes. “It’s very common for unrestricted firearms to be stolen and then reintroduced back onto the streets as a contraband (weapon),” Walper said. Local gun store owner Ted Feller said legitimate […]

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