Police have seized more than 1,000 guns and a million rounds of ammunition from a southern Alberta store accused of selling the items illegally.
Officers searched K&D Implements in Cardston, Alta., on May 29 following a five-month investigation into firearms trafficking allegations.
The weapons and ammunition seized account for the store’s entire inventory.
The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) said the store owners, who were arrested by police, are accused of failing to ensure that firearms purchasers provided valid Possession Acquisition Licenses (PAL).
“Potentially, any person could have walked into that store and purchased a firearm without producing the adequate safeguards that we’ve put in place to ensure only those individuals who should have firearms, get the firearms,” Staff Sgt. Jason Walper, with Lethbridge organized crime & gangs, said.
Investigators allege that these offences took place on a number of occasions.
“At this time we don’t have any idea of any crimes that have occurred as a result of these firearms, that possibly could have been sold illegally,” Walper said. “But certainly, without a doubt, it’s a grave possibility.”
“This case was much like many others in that a small piece of information, gathered in the day-to-day duties of our general duty members, lit the fuse to spark a much larger investigation,” he added.
Items seized from the business include:
- 49 handguns
- 972 long guns
- 270 kilograms of gun powder
- 446 kilograms of Tannerite, a binary explosive material
- 12,000 firearm primers
Police say the total value of items seized is between $1.2 and $1.4 million.
Dean Sommerfeldt, 58, and Todd Sommerfeldt, 31 are charged with trafficking a firearm, possession of weapons for the purpose of trafficking, careless storage of a restricted weapon, and transfer of a weapon and/or ammunition without authority.
The father and son have been released from custody on a number of court-imposed conditions, including restrictions on possessing any firearms including in their store. Both declined to comment on the situation to Global News.
The pair is scheduled to appear in court on June 19.
The town of Cardston is located approximately 90 kilometres southwest of Lethbridge and about 200 kilometres south of Calgary.