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Alberta man accused of selling guns to criminal market: ALERT

Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams. File/Global News

Police have laid charges against a 23-year-old Alberta man after he allegedly sold guns in the criminal market.

Aaron Hanlen-Knight from Athabasca was arrested by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) on May 9 after an investigation by ALERT Edmonton’s Guns and Gangs unit that began in December.

ALERT alleges that Hanlen-Knight purchased five handguns between November and December which were then re-sold. Only one of the firearms has been recovered thus far, police said.

A Wednesday news release from ALERT said the transactions are believed to be what’s known as “straw purchasing.”

“Straw purchasing typically involves someone with a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) but no criminal record obtaining firearms for someone who otherwise could not, or who does not want their name associated with the transaction.”

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READ MORE: Weapons seized during suspected deal between firearms trafficker and drug dealer in northern Alberta

ALERT said four other firearms were seized in a search of Hanlen-Knight’s Athabasca home, including a prohibited sawed-off shotgun.

Hanlen-Knight is charged with firearms trafficking, possession of firearms for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a prohibited firearm and firearm possession at an unauthorized place.

Albertans who suspect drug or gang activity in their community are asked to call local police or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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