RCMP, CBSA seize large gun cache in Prince George

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STORY 11 ITEM 3

A British Columbia man has recently discovered that illegally importing weapons is not acceptable and is now facing numerous charges for his activities.

On September 25, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime, Prince George RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at a private residence in Prince George and found a staggering collection of firearms and other weapons.

The weapons included over 31,000 rounds of ammunition; three hand guns, two of which were loaded; seven rifles; a fully automatic M16; a fully automatic AK 47; two morning stars; two shot guns; five 100 round capacity drum magazines; 50 assault rifle magazines; and four bullet proof vests.

Karl Haus has been charged with 17 offences including:

* 2 counts of importing a prohibited firearm or component knowing he was unauthorized to do so.

* 4 counts of possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon which is either loaded or there is readily accessible ammunition.

* 4 counts of possession of a prohibited weapon, ammunition or device.

* 5 counts of careless use of a firearm (unsafe storage).

* 2 counts of possessing a firearm with the serial number altered.

“The sheer volume of the weaponry, and the potential damage that could have been inflicted is incredibly disturbing,” said Superintendent Derek Simmonds, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized in BC. “Thankfully, with the help of our law enforcement partners we were able to remove these weapons and prevent any harm that they may have caused.”

The investigation began after CBSA officers working at the International Mail Processing Centre in Toronto identified a suspicious shipment, later found to be weapons parts, shipped to Canada from Europe. CBSA shared this information with the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime. The firearm parts were determined to be prohibited by the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) and a joint investigative team was formed.

“The smuggling of prohibited weapons jeopardizes the safety of our communities. The CBSA works closely with the RCMP and other law enforcement partners to stop the flow of illegal weapons, and this case demonstrates the commitment of all law enforcement partners to protecting the safety of Canadians,” said Roslyn MacVicar CBSA’s Director General, Pacific Region.

“The fear for police is that these weapons could eventually be used to commit criminal acts, where they could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to people,” said Chief Superintendent Rod Booth, RCMP North District Commanding Officer. “Any weapon that is not properly stored runs the risk of being stolen and falling into the hands of organized criminals. When you have military grade weapons that risk to the public is even greater.”