HARJOT Chahal, 26, of Pitt Meadows, and Alex Lytle, 31, of Port Coquitlam, have been sentenced in a 2020 Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) investigation into a “straw purchaser” who legally purchased firearms on the behalf of someone else who did not possess a firearms license. The investigation resulted in the seizure of several firearms, ammunition and police-related equipment.
In mid-2020, investigators from CFSEU-BC commenced an investigation after learning about the suspicious purchase of a firearm by two males at a Lower Mainland firearms retailer. The investigation revealed that one of the men, who did not have a valid license to purchase firearms and was prohibited from possessing firearms, appeared to be directing the other male to buy a firearm and ammunition. The purchaser had also bought several other firearms in the past year.
In early September 2020, a search warrant was executed on a residence and storage locker leading to the seizure of four long guns, various ammunition, high capacity magazines and police-related equipment. In addition, the investigation leads to the seizure of another three handguns and two long guns.
Chahal was charged with two Criminal Code offences: one count each of trafficking a firearm, and offer to trafick a firearm.
Lytle was charged with five offences under the Criminal Code: four counts of possession of a firearm contrary to an order (prohibition), and one count of possession of a loaded/restricted firearm.
Convictions and sentencing concerning this investigation have now been issued:
* Chahal was found guilty of the lesser offence of transferring firearms without authority and received a conditional sentence of 21 months.
* Lytle pleaded guilty to possession of firearms, prohibited devices and ammunition while prohibited and was sentenced to eight months in jail.
“Straw purchasing undermines the integrity of the legal sale and possession of firearms, putting them in the hands of individuals who intend to use them for a criminal purpose,
jeopardizing the safety of our public,” said Inspector Joel Hussey, Investigations Officer for the CFSEU-BC, on Thursday. “The CFSEU-BC Crime Guns Intelligence and Investigations Group (CGIIG) works closely with our policing and government partners to aggressively pursue straw purchasers holding them and the criminals they are linked to accountable and brought to justice.”