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Guns Seized in Edmonton Firearms Trafficking Investigation

Guns Seized in Edmonton Firearms Trafficking Investigation

Edmonton… Eight guns, some equipped with silencers, were seized in a recent firearms trafficking investigation by ALERT. Five Edmonton men have been arrested.

ALERT Edmonton’s organized crime and gang team conducted the investigation over the previous two months and explored a suspected criminal network that was trafficking firearms. Officers with Edmonton Police Service, RCMP, and National Weapons Enforcement Support team were involved in the investigation.

Eight firearms were seized on September 23, 2016 after a series of four search warrants were conducted in west Edmonton. ALERT seized three rifles, five handguns, body armour, silencers, and a crate of various rounds of ammunition.

ALERT alleges that the firearms were being lawfully acquired and then fraudulently supplied to Edmonton-area criminal networks. In some cases, the firearms were being altered and defaced before hitting the black market. Many of the firearms had their serial numbers removed and a Norinco CQ 5.56 rifle had been converted to shoot fully automatic.

A workshop in one of the homes was being used to convert firearms and manufacture silencers, ALERT alleges. 

A total of 107 charges have been laid against five individuals. Silas Armich, 38, Adrian Barnes, 38, Desmond Rock, 36, and Justin Shipowich, 38, were arrested on September 23. James Pike, 38, was arrested on October 18. The charges range from numerous firearms offences, including firearms trafficking, to providing a false statement.

Barnes has a lifetime firearms prohibition stemming from a previous conviction for importing prohibited firearms. He was arrested in January 2009 while attempting to enter Canada with 10 semi-automatic handguns.

2016-OCT27 EDM Firearms Trafficking


Silas Armich

  • Firearms trafficking (x 3);
  • Possession of a firearm at an unauthorized place (x 30).

Justin Shipowich:

  • Possession of firearms for the purpose of trafficking;
  • Careless storage of a firearm (x 5);
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm (x 5);
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition readily accessible (x 2);
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm;
  • Possession of a weapon obtained by crime (x 4);
  • Altering a firearm serial number;
  • Provide a false statement;
  • Warrants (x 8).

Adrian Barnes:

  • Firearms trafficking;
  • Careless storage of a firearm (x 5);
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm (x 5);
  • Unauthorized possession of ammunition (x 2);
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition readily accessible;
  • Possession of a weapon obtained by crime (x 4);
  • Altering a firearm serial number;
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm (x 5);
  • Breach of recognizance (x 3).

Desmond Rock:

  • Offer to transfer firearm;
  • Careless storage of a firearm (x 5);
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm (x 5);
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition readily accessible (x 1);
  • Possession of a weapon obtained by crime (x 4);
  • Altering a firearm serial number;
  • Possession of a prohibited firearm (x 5).

James Pike:

  • Criminal flight;
  • Dangerous driving;
  • Possession of stolen property;
  • Breach of recognizance (x 2).

ALERT begin its investigation in September 2016 after receiving information about suspected firearms trafficking.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

Since 2022, CISA has been guided by four pillars that focus the effort to promote an integrated, intelligence-led approach to combating organized crime; these are:

  • Building Relationships with Stakeholders;
  • Promote Intel Sharing Across the Province;
  • Being Proactive and Identify Emerging Trends; and
  • Investing in Our People Through Training and Development

Protecting Kids Online | Internet Child Exploitation

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FILE INTAKES

680

872

1,149

1,114

3,815

2,994

2,764

SUSPECTS CHARGED

22

16

34

37

109

81

125

CHARGES LAID

87

45

123

160

415

351

413

CHILDREN RESCUED

26

78

56

43

203

46

100

EXHIBITS SEIZED

335

368

545

476

1,724

1,243

1,845

TOTAL PHOTOS/VIDEOS

262,400

511,133

1,374,310

606,254

2,754,097

2,551,921

13,260,819

Stopping Human Trafficking | HUMAN TRAFFICKING & COUNTER EXPLOITATION

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

13

10

7

4

34

30

76

CHARGES LAID

79

46

87

19

231

96

157

VICTIM INTERVENTIONS

30

29

17

37

113

28

22

Intelligence & Expertise | CISA / Training

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

409

296

327

442

1,474

1,560

1,318

TRAINING COURSES

5

3

8

11

27

36

25

CANDIDATES TRAINED

321

56

135

350

862

933

638

Disrupt & Dismantle Organized Crime | Combined Special Forces Enforcement

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

40

27

42

32

141

197

168

CHARGES LAID

176

156

237

231

800

1,088

820

FIREARMS SEIZED

105

53

26

48

232

102

126

EST. VALUE OF DRUGS SEIZED

$906,814

$553,851

$2,725,161

$1,148,337

$5,334,163

$10,898,269

$334,093,020

PROCEEDS OF CRIME SEIZED

$218,133

$52,970

$130,996

$230,195

$632,294

$1,432,847

$21,740,617

ANNUAL Regional ResultS

ARRESTS

CHARGES

FIREARMS

DRUGS

PROCEEDS

CALGARY

24

110

14

$937,422

$65,881

EDMONTON

17

131

45

$592,839

$272,446

FORT MCMURRAY

8

78

4

$352,942

$144,301

GRANDE PRAIRIE

7

17

13

$192,145

$31,855

LETHBRIDGE

7

29

44

$349,773

$51,245

LLOYDMINSTER

24

93

41

$164,134

$12,504

MEDICINE HAT

37

179

13

$293,108

$7,861

RED DEER

17

163

58

$2,451,800

$46,201

TOTALS

141

800

232

$5,334,163

$632,294

Organized Property Crimes | Auto Crimes

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

1

1

2

1

10

CHARGES LAID

11

47

STOLEN VEHICLES

23

15

1

6

45

245

118

RECOVERED ASSETS

$1,432,000

$941,025

$108,000

$260,000

$2,741025

$8,420,500

$3,919,500

Firearms investigations | Firearms lab & Gang suPpression teams

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FIREARMS EXAMINATIONS

349

351

243

235

1,178

EXHIBIT EXAMINATIONS

1,316

1,409

891

1,099

4,715

SERIAL NUMBER RESTORATIONS

31

34

19

24

108

IBIS SUBMISSIONS

343

421

1,334

304

2,402

GUN SEIZURES

1

14

15

SUSPECTS CHARGED

4

22

26

CHARGES LAID

41

144

185

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (Cybertip.ca).

Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page