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Police search for origin of illegal guns seized in Calgary

Undercover officers cracked an alleged weapon-trafficking ring this week, but now police have the task of determining where the 16 firearms they found originally came from.

After getting a tip from the public, plainclothes officers witnessed the sale of a semi-automatic firearm in a parking lot near the Deerfoot Meadows shopping district Tuesday. The weapon was described as being similar to a machine-gun.

Through the investigation, police searched an Audi car, Toyota van and a house in Edgemont. They found eight handguns, shotguns and even modified flare pistols converted to shoot 12-gauge shotgun shells.

Det. Gord Eiriksson of the organized crime section said police will send the guns to the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) for examination to see if they can trace their origins. Many of the serial numbers had been tampered with.

The machine gun sale happened only a short distance from Wholesale Sports, a store that made headlines last year after an employee and her boyfriend were charged with allegedly stealing almost 60 guns and selling them.

Asked if the latest handguns are from the store, Eiriksson said they might be.

“As NWEST goes through their part of the investigation, they’ll have to try to restore the serial numbers, and determine whether or not these firearms came from that outlet,” Eiriksson said.

Police said there is no indication the suspects are connected to street gang activity, but officers are concerned with the firepower they’re seeing on the streets.

“We’re seeing more and more of the machine gun style of weapons,” said Eiriksson.

Source:  Stephane Massinon for The Calgary Herald.

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