Roca sniffs out a hidden gun during a demonstration under the watchful eye of CBSA detector/dog handler Stephen Robinson. Tara Bowie/Western News

Okanagan border agents sniff out U.S. handguns

Canada Border Services Agency talk to media about Americans bringing firearms through Osoyoos port

In the last five years 214 guns have been confiscated at the Canadian side of the Osoyoos border.

During a media information session Wednesday, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff explained that most personal firearms seized come from U.S. residents crossing the border who are unaware of Canadian laws.

Eron Labadie, superintendent of the Canadian Border Services Agency, stands with some of the guns confiscated at the Osoyoos port over recent years. (Tara Bowie/Western News)

“People don’t understand the laws. A lot of time people who are maybe used to carrying a firearm in their vehicles and forget they’re there that is usually the situation you see here,” Eron Labadie, superintendent for the CBSA at Osoyoos crossing said.

The majority of confiscated weapons are handguns, but there has been rifles, tasers and blowguns.

Travellers who do not declare firearms even if they are prohibited can face arrest, seizure, monetary penalties/and or criminal prosecution.

Related: Osoyoos border gun smuggler sentenced

A four-legged hardworking CBSA worker often helps locate guns and drugs.

Roca, a chocolate lab, is trained to sniff out nine odours — eight illegal drug smells and firearms. She’s trained as a passive indication dog, which means she sits when she finds something on her smell list.

“She’s trained on nine odours, eight narcotic odours and firearms, any part of a gun that’s been fired or cleaned or used,” Stephen Robinson, detector/handler for the CBSA said. “Guns are a bit of a fickle thing to train with. (We’re) always changing the scent to get it down to the base odour. We’ll go and fire a gun, hide the gun after it’s fired. We’ll clean the gun and hide it after it’s cleaned. We’ll let the gun sit for a month airing out and hide it again. We use a lot of a guns we seize so the dog gets used to the base odour.”

Roca spends the days she’s working living at the border crossing she works at and then her off days with Robinson where she gets some relaxation time walking and playing with a ball at the beach.

Celia Christian, a border officer at the Osoyoos border, was working the day Alex Louie, who goes by Senk’lip, attempted to take two handguns across the border, wiring them to the undercarriage of his vehicle.

“It appears that the firearms were being brought in to turn around and sell as crimes guns,” she said.

Louie was found guilty and sentenced to three years in jail, given a lifetime firearms ban and a 10 year ban for weapons.

Between 2013 to 2017 there have been 958 guns seized at CBSA ports of entry in the Pacific Region.

Information about regulations surrounding importing or exporting firearms can be found here.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Eron Labadie, superintendent of the Canadian Border Services Agency, stands with some of the guns confiscated at the Osoyoos port over recent years. Tara Bowie/Western News

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

West Kootenay gleaner’s group gets big funding boost

CBT grant allows project to save more local produce from compost bin

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

Director says the statement will help guide policy

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read