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.”
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.