Hefty jail sentences handed to firearm smugglers

Abbotsford, BC: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Pacific Region’s Criminal Investigations Section would like to share two separate incidents where individuals received hefty jail sentences for attempting to smuggle prohibited firearms into Canada.

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On September 3, 2016, two United States residents were seeking entry to Canada at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry (POE). The two individuals were travelling together, but drove separate vehicles, and were referred for a secondary examination. During the examination of both vehicles, border services officers (BSO) discovered and seized a sawed-off prohibited shotgun concealed in the first vehicle. Parts of a disassembled 22A-1 prohibited handgun were hidden throughout the second vehicle. Samuel Tudela admitted to ownership of both firearms and was subsequently arrested.

On September 7, 2016, Tudela pleaded guilty in Abbotsford Provincial Court to:

  • Smuggling a firearm into Canada, under section 159 of the Customs Act.
  • Possessing a firearm without license and/or registration, contrary to subsection 91(1) of the Criminal Code.

Tudela was fined $2,000 for the Customs Act contravention and sentenced to 22 days in jail for the Criminal Code offence. He was also sentenced to a 10-year firearms prohibition order for each count.

In a separate incident, Spencer Moore was sent for a secondary examination at the Douglas POE on September 30, 2016. Mr. Moore did not declare any firearms; however, during the examination of his vehicle, BSOs discovered and seized an unloaded, prohibited pistol and ammunition. He was subsequently arrested.

Mr. Moore appeared in Surrey Provincial Court on October 5, 2016, and pleaded guilty to:

Making a false declaration, under paragraph 153(a) of the Customs Act.
Possessing an unauthorized prohibited weapon, contrary to subsection 91(2) of the Criminal Code.
Possessing a firearm with readily accessible ammunition, contrary to subsection 95(1) of the Criminal Code.
Moore was sentenced to 30 days in jail for each count to be served concurrently and a 10-year firearms prohibition order.

“These seizures and significant sentences are a result of the dedicated efforts of our border services officers and criminal investigators here in British Columbia. This is a reminder to all those who travel to our country to declare their firearms or leave them at home. Failing to declare a firearm to the CBSA may result in a penalty or prosecution.” – – Daniela Evans, Director of the Pacific Highway District, Pacific Region, CBSA

Quick Facts

  • Canadian firearms laws are clear. Anyone importing firearms and weapons into Canada must declare them and meet all licensing and registration requirements under the Firearms Act. Failure to declare goods, including firearms and weapons, may lead to prosecution in a court of law.
  • In 2015, there were 36 guns seized at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon POE. Between January 1 and August 31 this year, 54 guns have been seized.
  • In 2015, 182 guns were seized across the Pacific Region. Between January 1 and August 31 this year, 160 guns have been seized.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)


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