Border agency details seizures

Recent highlights for the Okanagan and Kootenay district Canada Border Services Agency included a pair of U.S. residents turned away at the Osoyoos border.

The two U.S. travellers were seeking entry for a competition shoot in August. The pair declared two shotguns, two bottles of liquor and three bottles of wine. Border services officers initial examination uncovered 14 additional bottles of undeclared wine and liquor.  An intensified examination resulted in the discovery of a marijuana pipe, two boxes of fireworks, approximately 10,000 rounds of shotgun and handgun ammunition and two handgun holsters.

Border services seized the alcohol with no terms of release. The travellers did not have the required authorization for importing fireworks and they were abandoned to the Crown. The travellers returned the excess ammunition to the U.S.

Between July 1 and Oct. 31, CBSA officers in the Okanagan and Kootenays processed over 905,900 travellers by land, 14,900 travellers by air and 48,000 commercial vehicles. During this period, 183 individuals were found inadmissible due to criminal records, 12 firearms and 18 weapons seizures took place, 54 narcotics seizures were made — including 200 grams of marijuana, eight grams of Doda and 480 DHEA steroid pills — as well officers conducted two currency seizures.

Border officers in the district worked in collaboration with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. to announce charges against several people in October. The 10-month undercover international gun trafficking investigation spanned Florida, Montana and Louisiana, as well as several communities in B.C. including Penticton, Summerland and Vernon. Two Penticton men were arrested and subsequently released for their alleged involvement. Approximately 80 firearms were seized by officers, including seven found in the vehicle with one of the Penticton men along with a silencer.

Officers acted on a tip and began the investigation purchasing numerous guns and accessories off of Craigslist that are illegal in Canada. It is believed some of the guns and magazines were purchased in the U.S. and smuggled into Canada by driving them across the border to be sold to the highest bidder.


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