Man charged after fraudulently purchasing firearms
The Calgary Police Service Guns and Gangs Unit has charged one man with 33 fraud- and weapons-related offences following an investigation into fraudulent purchases of firearms.
On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, investigators were made aware of concerns that recent firearm purchases had been made by using a compromised firearms license. Upon investigation, officers learned that the firearms license had been previously reported as lost, along with other identification documents belonging to the victim.
It is believed that the suspect was using the victim’s firearms license and identity documents to purchase firearms from private sellers across Alberta, who had posted their firearms for sale on a legitimate resale website.
On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the suspect was arrested by members of the CPS Tactical Unit following a traffic stop on Deerfoot Trail N.E., near Stoney Trail N.E. Following the arrest, with the assistance of the Edmonton Police Service, officers conducted a search warrant at a residence located in the 400 block of 84 Street S.W., in Edmonton, Alta.
As a result of this investigation, police seized the following items:
- A Sig Sauer Mosquito Semi-Automatic Handgun
- An SKS Rifle
- Two prohibited high-capacity magazines
- Various ammunition
- Fraud and identity theft-related documents and equipment
- Multiple electronic devices
All seized firearms will now undergo forensic examination and analysis.
Steven Thomas MARLEAU, 32, of Edmonton, has since been charged with one count each of firearms trafficking, unsafe storage of a firearm, unsafe transportation of a firearm, unauthorized possession in a motor vehicle and forgery, two counts each of possession of a firearm knowing possession is unauthorized, possession of a prohibited device knowing possession is unauthorized, possession of a weapon obtained by crime and identity fraud, three counts of identity theft, seven counts of using or possession a forged document, and five counts each of breaching a recognizance and possession of a firearm contrary to a court order. He will next appear in court on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Investigators would like to thank the Chief Firearms Office of Alberta, the Canadian Firearms Program, the Edmonton Police Service and the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) for their cooperation and assistance throughout this multi-jurisdictional investigation.
“Although the suspect in this case took steps to conceal his identity from these firearms sellers, we are asking citizens to be diligent in confirming who they are selling their firearms to,” says Staff Sergeant Greg Cooper of the CPS Guns & Gangs Unit. “While there are legitimate reasons for citizens to buy and sell firearms, these weapons can be deadly in the hands of criminals.”
Citizens conducting private firearms sales are asked to always verify the identification and firearms license of potential buyers. Sellers can call the Canadian Firearms Program directly to confirm that the buyers firearms license is valid and proper by calling 1-800-731-4000. If firearms licenses are lost or stolen, it should be reported immediately to both police and the Canadian Firearms Program.