It's a major cache of weapons that police believe was destined to fall into the hands of criminals in the Tri-Cities and beyond.
On Tuesday, Coquitlam Mounties showed off a haul of guns and ammunition seized by its street enforcement team during a raid in June.
In all, 33 firearms including a Galil assault rifle and a fully-automatic machine gun were seized, along with 62 prohibited high-capacity ammunition magazines, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, two body armours, 60,000 counterfeit DVDs and prepackaged marijuana.
Marc Wisdom, 41, of Maple Ridge is facing 50 criminal charges including 26 counts related to firearms and ammunition, 20 counts for possession of prohibited devices and four counts of possession of prohibited weapons.
RCMP investigators allege Wisdom was illegally selling guns in the Tri-Cities to criminals. "The removal of a number of these firearms from the streets of British Columbia have reduced a severe threat," said RCMP Cpl. Frank
Grosspietsch, with the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.
Police began the investigation into Wisdom back in February after getting wind of the seller through information gathered by the force's criminal analyst and information received at the detachment.
On June 12, Coquitlam Mounties, with the help of several other agencies, raided four locations in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.
Wisdom was arrested in Maple Ridge without incident.
Police would not reveal the locations of the Port Coquitlam or Coquitlam raids, or offer details on how the suspect is related to the Tri-Cities, other than to note he worked in PoCo.
Investigators also didn't say if the weapons were used in a crime or how long Wisdom had been in business.
Grosspietsch said Wisdom was licensed to possess restricted-class firearms, but alleged he chose to sell them illegally to criminals.
Wisdom did not have a criminal record.
Grosspietsch noted police are seeing a trend from people who don't have criminal records choosing to sell weapons on the black market, adding the markup is significant.
He suggested an automatic weapon could fetch up to $5,000-plus.
RCMP Insp. Paulette Freill said the removal of the weapons from the street makes the community safer from gun violence.
She also suggested the bust eliminated a major source of illegal guns in the community.
"Guns and drugs are not only a Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam problem," Freill said, noting the co-operation between police jurisdictions on the case.
"Guns and drugs are a regional problem and with regional problems come the need for regional solutions."
As for Wisdom, he's due back in Port Coquitlam provincial court on Sept. 19.
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