A man who allegedly crossed the border illegally into Canada has pleaded guilty to possession an illegal firearm, but will be seeking release on bail on his next date with a judge.
Christopher Wilfredo Lopez, of Bakersfield, California, has been in jail since March 4.
A search that involved the Langley RCMP, the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), Lower Mainland Police Dog Services, and the Emergency Response Team (ERT) began that day in South Langley when police were alerted that someone had darted across the border on foot in the 24300 block of Zero Avenue.
The first Langley Mounties on the scene found a silver Infiniti G37 with California licence plates abandoned just on the American side of the border, facing north.
The car was registered to a man known to police and with a history of attempting to illegally enter Canada. A witness spotted a man matching the suspect’s description on foot nearby, and local RCMP and the various regional police agencies began searching.
Just after 8 a.m., another witness reported someone was trying to get into a neighbour’s house.
The house proved to be empty, but an ERT member spotted a man hiding underneath it. He was ordered to come out, but he sprinted into a nearby field.
When the man reached into his hoodie pocket, they shot him with a conducted energy weapon, usually called a Taser.
Police said the suspect had a loaded gun and extra magazines in the hoodie pocket.
After the arrest, Supt. Adrian Marsden, head of the Langley RCMP, said quick and coordinated action by multiple police agencies, including those in the U.S., along with tips from the public, prevented a “likely deadly situation.”
Since his capture by police, Lopez has been sitting in custody, charged with two counts of possession of a prohibited firearm, break and enter, and several counts of breach of a court undertaking.
He also faces two charges – criminal harassment and extortion – related to a previous incident on Dec. 1 in Surrey.
Persons charged with a criminal offence are considered not guilty until the charges are proven in court.
On May 30, Lopez entered a guilty plea to one of the illegal gun charges.
He is now scheduled to reappear in Surrey Provincial Court on July 25, where he is applying for bail.