On November 3, 2021, the Winnipeg Police Service Firearms Investigation and Enforcement Unit was notified by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that goods believed to be used to assemble 3D-printed guns were destined for Winnipeg. This case was initiated when the CBSA intercepted parts arriving in Canada by mail.
As a result, the Winnipeg Police Service Firearms Investigation and Enforcement Unit and members of the CBSA’s Investigations and Intelligence Firearms Unit and Digital Forensics Team in Winnipeg collaborated and entered into a firearm trafficking investigation.
In April 2022, Winnipeg Police learned that the accused in this matter attempted to purchase firearms parts in Calgary, Alberta using the disguised identity of another person.
In April 2022, the accused purchased firearms parts from an individual in Montreal, Quebec, using the disguised identity of another person.
Between April 2022 and May 2022, the accused used these parts, assembled a 3D-printed firearm and trafficked this firearm to a third party. The Winnipeg Police Service executed a search warrant in Winnipeg, and the 3D-printed gun was recovered.
On June 25, 2022, the Winnipeg Police Service and the Canada Border Services Agency executed a search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of Prevette Avenue.
As a result of this warrant, various 3D-printed gun parts and compatible ammunition were seized.
“Assembling a homemade firearm from illegally-imported parts violates the Criminal Code and the Customs Act. Offences such as these can result in significant jail time. The CBSA is determined to work with partners to protect communities across Canada from the dangers of illegal firearms,” said Jeryn Peters, Director, Intelligence and Enforcement Operations Division, Prairies Region, the Canada Border Services Agency.
A 24-year-old male, Blake ELLISON-CRATE of Winnipeg, was charged with the following Criminal Code offences:
- Weapons Manufacturing/Trafficking x 5
- Identity Theft x 2
- Identity Fraud x 2
- Possession Contrary to an Order x 2
- Possession of a Prohibited Device Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
He was also charged under the Customs Act for:
- Participate in or Consent to the making of false statements
He has been detained in custody.
The following agencies assisted the Winnipeg Police Service Firearms Investigation and Enforcement Unit and the Canada Border Services Agency Investigations and Intelligence Firearms Unit and Digital Forensics Team:
Calgary Police Service
Vancouver Police Department
Moose Jaw Police Service
Manitoba RCMP NWEST
Constable Jay Murray, Public Information Officer
Constable Dani McKinnon, Public Information Officer
Constable Claude Chancy, Public Information Officer
Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs