Machine Gun Seized In Stop

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 6 a.m. February 19, 2015
Updated: 2:38 p.m. February 27, 2015

Friday the 13th proved to be unlucky for a Toronto man allegedly driving around the city with a loaded high-powered machine gun.

A man in  TPS uniform standing with a dog on a leash sitting
Sergeant Steve Moore and Explosives and Firearms Detection Dog Ace

Police Dog Services Sergeant Steve Moore and police dog Ace responded to a call for assistance, after  TAVIS (Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy) officers captured a man who had fled the scene after being pulled over for a traffic infraction in the  Eglinton Ave.W. & Keele St. area.

A four-year Black Labrador, Ace is one of four Toronto Police explosives detection dogs cross-trained on firearms.

“One of the components we train them on is smokeless powder, which is the ingredient inside a round,” said Moore. “When a gun is loaded, it has smokeless powder in it and when a gun is fired, it has smokeless residue.”

Constables Dale Janes and Sukhjit Gill were part of a TAVIS Rapid Response team deployed to 12 Division to conduct high-visibility patrols when they observed the suspect committing a Highway Traffic offence – failing to stop at two stop signs.

When the officers tried to stop the car, the man pulled into a driveway, parked the vehicle and fled on foot through several backyards.

TAVIS units flooded the area and caught the suspect a short time later. He allegedly told police he fled the scene because he had a quantity of marijuana he had discarded.

While under arrest for drug possession, police realized that the suspect was on probation for a firearm offence and they summoned the canine unit.

“We started from where the accused had bailed out of his vehicle and searched along the route we figured he had taken before he was caught,” said Moore. “At one point, we were in a large parking lot of a garage and Ace began pulling me towards a large fenced compound, which you couldn’t see through. He was indicating on the fence, which led me to believe there was something in the compound that I needed to search. We couldn’t get over the compound fence because it was approximately seven feet high, so I went to the next-door neighbour to try to see if I could get in through their yard. I couldn’t, so I borrowed a crowbar from them and we were successful in breaching the lock off to get into the compound.”

Following a brief search, Ace and his handler found ammunition and a gun wrapped in a sweater.

Concealed in the clothing was a fully loaded  Cobray Mac-10 machine gun.

A black gun with a long magazine in a blue piece of clothing beside a separate image of bullets
A loaded Mac-10 recovered by police officers after a foot pursuit and the bullets

“It had a 30-round magazine in it and was loaded and locked,” said Moore. “There was also a spare 30-round magazine and some loose nine-millimetre ammunition. There were more than  60 rounds of ammunition in the clothing.”

Ace has retrieved several guns in the last year.

Early last summer, he found a handgun hidden on top of a shed that was involved in a shooting in 12 Division.  While assisting officers with a search warrant, the dog also hit on a backpack with ammunition.

TAVIS Constable Sukhjit Gill said a failure to stop at two traffic signs led to the foot pursuit and gun and ammunition discovery.

“It was just after 8.p.m. when we tried to pull over the suspect and he drove and parked his car in a random driveway,” recalled Gill. “He then took off on foot.”

Gill, who was riding with Janes, estimates it took about five minutes before the suspect was caught.

Gill, who was riding with Janes, estimates it took about five minutes before the suspect was caught.

After putting out a description of the man on the radios, he was apprehended by Constables Brett Newmarch, Carlos Demelo and Mo Fadel. 

"It was a team effort that worked out well," Gill said.

TAVIS Staff Sergeant Ronald Reed commended his officers and the Police Dog Services team for excellent teamwork.

“That’s a huge gun and we are very grateful that the suspect decided to run and throw it away rather than shoot at the officers,” he said. “This is a major, major, major weapon. This gun is a rare thing to get and I don’t know how they got it into the country.”

The man faces 12 charges, the majority firearm-related.

As part of a probation order issued last April, he was prohibited from possessing firearms

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