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article imageCanadian soldier faces numerous gun-trafficking charges

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 24, 2013 in Crime
Although the 36-year-old Quebec soldier was arrested last August, the details of the operation that led to several charges being laid in Canada and the United States have just been released.
The announcement was made yesterday by the Ontario Provincial Police of what they described as "a lengthy, complex, joint investigation by police in Ontario, Quebec and the United States." The investigation was conducted by the OPP, the Surete du Quebec and the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to Supervisory Special Agent William Temple of the ATF, the investigation began in Phoenix last spring when police noticed gun parts being offered for sale online. After making several purchases, they determined the seller was in Ontario and contacted the OPP. After it was determined the soldier was from Quebec and some alleged activity took place there, the Surete du Quebec were brought into the investigation.
Last July, search warrants were executed in various Ontario and Quebec locations including CFB Borden where the soldier was stationed. Seized in the raids were hundreds of firearms and enhancements including silencers, thousands of rounds of ammunition and manuals and templates used in the manufacture of prohibited firearms parts and enhancements. A computer and several drive devices were also seized.
David Theriault, of Lyster, Quebec, faces several counts in Ontario for importing or exporting a firearm component, importing or exporting a firearm, knowledge of unauthorized possession of a weapon, possession of a firearm, device or ammunition for the purpose of trafficking, trafficking in a firearm, device or ammunition and unauthorized possession of a weapon.
Theriault also faces numerous charges in the United States for importing machine guns without a licence and smuggling.
Some of the parts Theriault allegedly sold allowed semi-automatic firearms to be converted into fully-automatic ones. Other enhancements allowed over-capacity magazines to be attached to firearms. Police also recovered illegally made firearms that did not have serial numbers.
Speaking of the charges, OPP Superintendent Chris Lewis said, "This investigation is another clear and strong message that gun smuggling, the manufacture and distribution of firearm enhancements and their inherent, dangerous criminal activities will not be tolerated."
Theriault is a private who has been at CFB Borden since 2007. He was training to be an aircraft technician in the aerospace engineering officer program.
Theriault, who has been in custody since his arrest, is due to make another court appearance on May 2 in Barrie. The investigation is continuing.
More about guntrafficking, online sale of guns, Ontario provincial police, ATF
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