Calgary, Alberta – An ALERT investigation has resulted in the arrest of a 26-year-old Calgary man for firearms straw purchasing.
ALERT’s Guns and Gangs team alleges that Philip Edward Sarrasin lawfully acquired multiple handguns, which were then sold on the criminal market. Sarrasin was arrested on October 24, 2018, with the assistance of Calgary Police Service.
Sarrasin purchased seven handguns during a nine-month window, beginning in February 2016. Three of the handguns purchased by the accused later surfaced during police investigations:
- Calgary Police Service Gang Enforcement Team seized a Glock handgun as part of a drug trafficking investigation in April 2017;
- Canadian Pacific Railway Police found a loaded Glock handgun along a Calgary rail line in December 2017; and
- Toronto Police Service seized a Glock handgun during a drug arrest in October 2018.
The other firearms purchased by Sarrasin remain unaccounted for.
Sarrasin has been charged with firearms trafficking, possession of a firearm at an unauthorized place, and failing to report a lost firearm.
ALERT’s investigation dates back to March 2018 when information was received about suspected firearms trafficking. The RCMP’s National Weapons Enforcement Support Team provided assistance during the investigation.
Straw purchasing typically involves someone without a criminal record and a valid Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) obtaining firearms for someone who otherwise could not, or does not want their name associated with the transaction.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.
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