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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Made-in-Alberta machine guns seized


ALERT -
Following an eight-month investigation, ALERT has seized four prohibited firearms – including two homemade MAC-11 submachine guns – that were allegedly manufactured at a machinist shop just west of Edmonton.  ALERT Edmonton’s Guns and Gangs unit concluded its investigation on August 17, 2017, with the arrest of two suspects. Edmonton Police Service and RCMP investigators helped search two Edmonton homes and a rural property in Parkland County, where it is believed the guns were being manufactured.  ALERT is still investigating how many MAC-11s were manufactured, but it is believed some of these weapons have found their way to the criminal market.

Four prohibited firearms were seized, including: a Beretta handgun equipped with a suppressor; a modified Suomi submachine gun with two oversized magazines; and two homemade MAC-11 submachine guns outfitted with suppressors and oversized magazines.

The MAC-11s were allegedly manufactured at a professional grade machinist shop, unbeknownst to the shop’s owner. The MAC-11s were fully automatic, with one trigger pull resulting in the entire magazine of 30 rounds being fired in just seconds.

ALERT began its investigation in co-operation with the RCMP’s National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST) after receiving information about an Edmonton man believed to be trafficking firearms. The investigation relied on a number of sophisticated police techniques that uncovered alleged instances of firearms trafficking and eventually manufacturing.

Jacob Balan, 37, and Amy Brogden, 29, were arrested and have been jointly charged with 62 criminal offences, including:
  • Making an automatic firearm;
  • Firearms trafficking (x 4);
  • Possession of a firearm for the purpose of trafficking (x 4);
  • Trafficking a prohibited device (x 6);
  • Possession of a prohibited device for the purpose of trafficking (x 6);
  • Knowingly possessing a prohibited firearm (x 4); and
  • Knowingly possessing a prohibited device (x 6).

Both of the accused were released from custody and are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 18, 2017.

Members of the public who suspect criminal activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of the Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

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