Police seize AK47 in Cape Breton drug bust
As the world mourns the victims of a deadly elementary school shooting in Connecticut, there is shocking news about a significant weapons seizure in Cape Breton.
An AK47 is among a huge cache of weapons seized during a major drug bust in Southside Boularderie Tuesday.
Police are calling it one of their biggest seizures in recent memory, and Crown attorney Dan MacRury says he has seen a lot in his long career as a prosecutor, but never a deadly assault weapon seized on the Island.
“I’ve been practicing for 26 years. I’ve never seen an assault weapon in Cape Breton. It’s not very common,” he says. “Certainly not something you can pick up at the local Canadian Tire store.”
Police also seized three other guns at the home, including a loaded .22 calibre handgun, a bow and arrows, a bulletproof vest, bear spray and ammunition.
“It’s not normally what we find,” says RCMP Insp. John Ryan. “For us, it’s a concern, especially for the safety of the public, and also for our members who are conducting these investigations.”
The tragedy in Newtown has many people calling for tougher gun laws in the United States.
While rules are tighter in Canada, the Crown says the seizure serves as a disturbing reminder that deadly weapons can be found anywhere.
“This type of weapon could have devastating consequences on any community and, certainly from the Crown’s perspective, it’s unacceptable to have them in our community,” says MacRury.
Police also seized a large quantity of drugs, including a kilogram of cocaine, a kilogram of hashish, 40 pounds of marijuana, 20,000 tablets of ecstasy and a large amount of steroids, in the bust.
Police say the stash clearly illustrates the relationship between drugs and violence.
“There is a link between drugs and violence,” says Ryan. “Always when there’s a drug being sold in the community, especially the amount we have here, when there’s firearms, there’s often a link to some sort of organized crime or organized group.”
Two Southside Boularderie residents are facing a slew of charges in connection with the seizure, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, unsafe storage of firearms, and possession of a prohibited weapon.
“If someone were convicted with these within the mandatory sentencing guidelines, it would be significant time, significant federal time,” says federal Crown attorney David Iannetti.
Jason Blinkhorn, 34, and Wendolynne Avery, 39, appeared in Sydney provincial court this afternoon.
The Crown is asking for the pair to remain in custody. It is expected they will remain in custody until bail hearings are held after Christmas.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald