3 from Brampton charged with alleged weapons trafficking in U.S.

Three people from Brampton have been charged in the U.S. in connection with a conspiracy to engage in international firearms trafficking, authorities say.The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said in a news release Tuesday listed three people from Brampton aged 25, 34 and 36 accused in the case. A fourth person, 25, of Fort Lauderdale, Fl., was also charged.According to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the 25-year-old from Brampton was stopped by Pennsylvania State Police on Sept. 2, 2023, in Franklin County, Pa., after police noticed several motor vehicle violations, the release said.The 25-year-old, said to be illegally in the U.S. from Canada, allegedly fled on foot when troopers found weapons in a rental vehicle. A court-authorized search warrant for the vehicle led to police recovering 65 firearms allegedly destined to be illegally smuggled into Canada, the release said.Two of those firearms were fully automatic and considered machine guns under federal law, the release added. Eleven of the firearms were determined to be stolen and one firearm had an obliterated serial number, it added.According to the indictment, the 34-year-old was involved in the conspiracy since April 2023 with persons known and unknown to the grand jury, including the 25-year-old, to arrange for his illegal entry into the U.S.When the 25-year-old was in the U.S, the 34-year-old allegedly arranged funding for the 25-year-old to buy the various firearms which he obtained in Florida, Georgia and elsewhere as he traveled back toward Canada and through Franklin County, the release said.The 36-year-old, who is the third person from Brampton charged in the case, and the 25-year-old from Florida were charged as accessories after the fact for their alleged assistance to the 25-year-old from Brampton.The Harrisburg office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Pennsylvania State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations were involved in the investigation.”Far from being a victimless crime, trafficking presents a grave threat to public safety across our nation and to our neighbours,” Eric J. DeGree, special agent in charge for the ATF in its Philadelphia field division, said in the release.”Thanks to our cooperative efforts, this action has kept 65 firearms off the street — preventing them from being used in any number of killings and other crimes — and ended this international firearms trafficking scheme.”An ATF bureau spokesperson has told CBC News that the charges in this case are connected to the investigation into last year’s gold heist at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Police are set to announce charges in that investigation Wednesday morning.

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