Four guns were seized when the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team arrested a 50-year-old Grande Prairie man on May 14.
ALERT said its organized crime and gang team arrested Allan Salud, “who was allegedly involved in trafficking restricted handguns.”
The agency alleges Salud was “selling restricted handguns to the criminal market, and involved in a process known as straw purchasing,” when someone with a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) and no criminal record gets firearms for someone who can’t — or doesn’t want their name connected to the purchase.
Salud is facing 31 firearms-related charges, including firearms trafficking, possession of a firearm for the purpose of trafficking, failure to report a lost or stolen firearm, possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition, and unsafe storage of a firearm.
ALERT said since March, the accused had purchased 11 handguns and one of them was seized on March 27 during a Grande Prairie RCMP drug investigation.
“Someone engaged in straw purchasing is recklessly putting the public at risk,” ALERT said Insp. Sean Boser said in a news release.
“These are firearms being diverted to the criminal market, and who knows what kind of crimes they could potentially be used to commit.”
ALERT said officers seized four firearms “originally acquired by Salud,” including three handguns and a shotgun, after homes in Grande Prairie and Beaverlodge, Alta., were searched.
The agency said seven restricted handguns are still unaccounted for.