Police raided numerous homes throughout the Lower Mainland on Tuesday, resulting in five men being arrested and charged with firearms violations.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC (CFSEU-BC) sent its Illegal Firearms Enforcement Team (IFET) to execute warrants at Maple Ridge, Langley, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and North Vancouver homes on March 7, in connection to an investigation from the fall of 2022 alongside the New Westminster Police.
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As a result, the CFSEU-BC seized:
• Six handguns
• One .30 calibre rifle prohibited magazine
• One auto sear firearms part capable of turning a gun fully automatic
• Suspected fentanyl
• Approximately one kilogram of suspected cocaine
• 80 litres of suspected PMK, which is a controlled substance used in the making of MDMA
• Numerous body armour pieces
• Several prohibited firearms magazines and parts
• Various ammunition
• An unknown amount of money
These seizures were in addition to the 10 weapons seized by the CFSEU-BC back in January in connection with the same investigation.
Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the CFSEU-BC explained that initial findings indicate these firearms were sourced both domestically and internationally.
“CFSEU-BC is working with its international partners, such as the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), to follow up on where the firearms originated,” said Houghton.
The BC Prosecution Service has laid the following charges against the following five individuals in the March 7 raids:
• Arman Anthony Giordano, 24, Maple Ridge
• Brandon Vuong Nguyen, 28, Burnaby
• Ali Sabha Taghan, 39, Langley
• Derek Melville Johnston, 33, North Vancouver
• Jerry Lino, 30, Coquitlam
Giordano has been charged with 16 different firearms offences, Nguyen has six, Taghan has five, Johnston has three, and Lino has one.
“All were arrested at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland on March 7 and have remained in custody overnight,” said Houghton.
“They will be appearing before a justice on March 8 to determine whether they will be released. The investigation remains ongoing and CFSEU-BC anticipates that more charges may be forthcoming.”
Insp. Joel Hussey explained that operations like this are necessary in reducing the amount of firearms-related violence in the province.
“Firearms in the hands of the wrong people pose one of the greatest risks to public safety,” said Hussey. “We have seen time and time again that trafficked firearms, no matter where they come from, are being used in crime and too often end up connected to tragedy.”
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