UPDATED: Alleged gun dealer hit with 37 more charges

 

Prosecutors laid 37 more charges against a Walnut Grove man accused of running an international gun trading business from his suburban home.

Guns and gun parts from a suburban Langley home have been flowing to gangsters both here and internationally, police say.

A Langley man, Bradley Michael Friesen, 37, is now facing 46 gun-related charges in B.C., as well as more charges in the United States.

“This guy essentially is a freelance gun parts maker,” said Sgt. Lindsey Houghton, spokesperson for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).

Houghton called him a “Dr. Frankenstein” of firearms.

Friesen came to Canadian attention as a result of an investigation by the American Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) in Arizona.

In May, ATF officers contacted the local anti-gang police. They said a B.C. man was suspected of selling Glock parts and silencers over the internet.

The CFSEU investigation involved surveilling their suspect.

“It did not take long before he was observed mailing packages of auto sears and silencers to addresses in Canada, the U.S., and Australia,” said Houghton. 

Auto sears are small devices that can be used to convert guns to fire on full-auto. A full-auto weapon will keep firing as long as the trigger is held down.

He was also seen visiting a workshop in Langley.

When investigators learned their target was going camping on Osoyoos in July with his five-year-old child, they obtained search warrants for both his home and workshop, along with his van and tend at the NK’Mip campground.

On July 16, they arrested Friesen, and seized a long list of guns and gun components, some of them in various stages of construction.

From his van and tent, officers seized a CZ858 fully automatic assault rifle with a loaded 75-round drum magazine and another loaded 40-round magazine. They also found an AR-15 assault rifle, converted from semi-automatic fire to fully automatic, and a 1943 Sten sub machine gun with a 32-round magazine, 32 prohibited Glock auto switches, seven sound suppressors (also known as silencers) and a wide variety of magazines and ammunition.

Most of the magazines were “unpinned.” In Canada, the law limits how much ammunition can be put in a magazine, for example, only five rounds are allowed for a semi-automatic rifle such as the AR-15. Police believe Friesen had unpinned larger magazines to allow them to be fully loaded with many more bullets.

Police found another CZ858 semi-automatic rifle at Friesen’s home near the 21000 block of 95A Avenue in Walnut Grove, books on making suppressors, and more gun parts and magazines.

When police arrested him, they found one of the guns, unloaded, within reach of Friesen’s son’s booster seat. More gun parts were stashed under the seat itself.

“As a parent, I find this absolutely appalling,” Houghton said.

A family member took the child, and the Ministry of Children and Family Services was contacted.

Friesen was originally charged with two counts of weapons trafficking, two counts possession for the purpose of weapons trafficking, importing or exporting unauthorized components, and two counts of gun possession contrary to a prohibition order.

On Monday, the CFSEU announced the next 37 charges, including 10 counts of possession of firearms and other devices contrary to a prohibition order, three counts of weapons trafficking, six counts of careless use of a firearm, and numerous other charges related to importing and exporting or possession of guns and ammunition.

Friesen was convicted of a 2003 attempted murder in Penticton using a firearm. He has a lifetime ban on owning or possessing guns and also has a record of drug and property-related crimes, said Houghton. 

The suspect is now in custody in Surrey and will await trial here on his charges. Houghton said up to 30 more charges could be laid in the near future, and the police are trying to track down leads to his alleged customers.

“We’re looking for any type of record, digital or paper copy,” Houghton said.

Friesen is thought to have links to a number of mid-level criminal groups in B.C.

It is uncertain what will happen to Friesen as a result of the U.S. investigation. He could potentially be extradited to face further charges there.

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