The Vancouver Police Department and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC announced that they made a major seizure of guns, drugs, explosives, and stolen property at a farm in Langley. Police executed the seizure on November 13.
Police say they seized three assault rifles, nine handguns, two improvised explosive devices, about 500 marijuana plants, and 600 rounds of ammunition. They also found several stolen vehicles.
Gallery: some of the weapons and ammunition seized by police
Superintendent Mike Porteous of the VPD says police found seven people at the farm when they made the bust, and he described them as known gang associates. Police took some of those people into custody, but they have since been released. According to Porteous, bringing charges against suspects in cases like these can be a long process.
“We have to be able to prove in court through laboratory analysis that these are functioning firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited firearms, et cetera. Plus, we have to do analysis to see if they’ve been linked to any other kinds of crimes, plus we have to do forensic analysis to prove possession.” – Mike Porteous
Police made the bust at a farm at 4096 240 Street in Langley. The CFSEU’s Assistant Commissioner Kevin Hackett says police believe the farm was a launching point for gang activity.
“There are indications that this was a staging area for the purpose of acquiring the weapons, loading the weapons, and then going out and committing violent acts.” – Kevin Hackett
Porteous says that while the task force responsible for the seizure has been active for months, police learned about the Langley farm only two days before they carried out the bust.
Police say the weapons seized in this investigation are connected to ongoing gang conflict in the greater Vancouver area, and Porteous says he thinks the bust has disrupted local gang activity.
“This is some heavy armaments and heavy firepower. I would estimate that this stopped and disrupted numerous shootings, possible murders, attempted murders, et cetera.” – Mike Porteous
Hackett says the VPD was involved in the operation because policing gang activity in the lower mainland requires different jurisdictions to cooperate.
“No one jurisdiction owns the criminals. Criminals don’t respect boundaries. A gangster who lives in Vancouver, or Surrey, or Maple Ridge doesn’t curtail his criminal activities to one specific jurisdiction or one municipality. And that’s why we have to work so closely with one another.” – Kevin Hackett
Porteous says the investigation is ongoing, and asks anyone with information about the Langley farm to contact the police.