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Gang cops arrest 2 in Coquitlam raid

Police prepare to execute a search warrant on Alderson Avenue. - RYAN STELTING PHOTO
Police prepare to execute a search warrant on Alderson Avenue.
— image credit: RYAN STELTING PHOTO

Two Coquitlam residents were arrested and an arsenal of firearms seized Wednesday evening after police raided a home located across the street from an elementary school in southeast Coquitlam.

Four handguns, a semiautomatic Uzi, a semiautomatic Cobray pistol, a semiautomatic rifle, a pump-action shotgun, a silencer, ammunition and a quantity of high-capacity magazines were found when police executed a search warrant at a house in the 800-block of Alderson Avenue shortly before 8:30 p.m.

A 36-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman were arrested and a child found in the home was put in the care of a family member, according to police.

According to a witness, the street in front of the home was blocked off and children playing at nearby Alderson elementary were told to leave the area.

"This was a significant investigation, whereby a carefully planned and executed operation was conducted to minimize any potential risk to the public and the neighbourhood," said Insp. John Grywinski, head of the Firearms Enforcement Team. "The team was able to recover a number of high-end firearms that could have potentially ended up on our streets, in the hands of criminals."

Grywinski said that while the couple arrested did not have an identifiable link to any particular crime group, investigators believe the seized weapons were destined to end up in the hands of gangs or organized crime.

The pair were released Thursday morning pending further investigation and no names were released.

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit Gang Task Force worked with the Coquitlam's RCMP's Emergency Response Team in executing the search warrant.

The latest seizure brings the total number of firearms seized by the Gang Task Force to 137 so far this year and is the second significant firearms bust in the Metro Vancouver area in recent weeks.

"Clearly, this proliferation of firearms must serve as a reminder to the policing community," said Supt. Tom McCluskie, head of the task force. "We are in no position to let our guard down."

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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