An alleged gun smuggler with gang ties was arrested in Langley trying to sell a semi-automatic rifle to an undercover police officer on 200 Street on Aug. 29.
Tyler Ryan Cuff, 30, of Osoyoos, has been charged with two counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm, one count each of careless use of a firearm contravening storage regulations and firearms trafficking. He has been released from custody and appears on Sept. 13 in Surrey Provincial Court.
The man, who has no criminal record and was not previously known to police, was arrested on Aug. 29 without incident near the intersection of 200 Street and 88 Avenue after allegedly selling an undercover police officer a semi-automatic 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, Washington/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.