Stolen Firearms Recovered Highlight Growing Crime Trend

Stolen Firearms Recovered Highlight Growing Crime Trend

January 29, 2015

Red Deer… An Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) investigation in Red Deer has led to the recovery of 16 firearms, which are believed to have been stolen.

ALERT Red Deer made the firearms seizure on January 23 with the assistance of RCMP Red Deer and the K-Division Emergency Response Team. The guns are believed to be stolen from homes throughout Red Deer and Central Alberta, and highlight a growing Alberta trend of crime guns being acquired through residential and commercial break and enters.

The firearms were seized following the execution of a search warrant at a downtown Red Deer home that was located in close proximity to two schools. The search led to the arrest of five people and the seizure of 16 firearms, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 28 grams of methamphetamine, and a variety of stolen property.

The five people arrested are facing a total of 230 charges related to drugs and guns:

  • Joseph Daniel Swain, 30;
  • Joseph Russell Sinclair, 26;
  • Stephanie Dawn Hughes, 31;
  • Angie Faye Deneff, 33;
  • Amanda Dawn Fox, 31.

Swain was arrested as result of a vehicle stop in north Red Deer. He had a handgun stashed in the driver’s side door panel and another wedged between the driver’s seat and center console. Fifty rounds of ammunition were located in the center console. Swain was bound by a 10-year firearms prohibition from a previous court decision.

ALERT is continuing the investigation with the assistance of the RCMP’s National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST).

According to Criminal Intelligence Service Alberta (CISA), between 2008 and 2013 there was a 1440% increase in the number of incidents of breaking and entering to steal a firearm:

  • 2008 – 10 incidents
  • 2009 – 51 incidents
  • 2010 – 105 incidents
  • 2011 – 107 incidents
  • 2012 – 130 incidents
  • 2013 – 154 incidents

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 Regional Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.