CBSA probe yields firearms and weapons charges

Canada Border Services Agency

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is committed to keeping prohibited firearms and weapons out of our communities.

In December 2022, the CBSA Criminal Investigations Section in Halifax initiated a smuggling investigation after CBSA officers at the International Mail Processing Centre in Toronto intercepted a shipment of 10 prohibited centrifugal knives destined for an address in Lower Sackville, NS.

On January 25, 2023, CBSA investigators with assistance from the Halifax District RCMP Street Crime Enforcement Unit, arrested Steven Lynn Rowntree (42) of Lower Sackville, NS for allegedly smuggling prohibited weapons into Canada. He was carrying a restricted handgun and loaded magazine at the time of his arrest and both items were seized.

CBSA investigators, with assistance from CBSA Intelligence and Halifax District RCMP, then executed a search warrant at Rowntree’s residence. During the search, CBSA located and seized numerous firearms and devices, including:

· Six handguns;

· One double barrel shotgun receiver;

· Nine rifles;

· One shotgun;

· One crossbow;

· 10 overcapacity magazines;

· Hard plated body armour with camouflage carrier;

· Military grade rifle scope;

· Night vision scope;

· Various rounds of ammunition;

· Shotgun barrels;

· Gun parts including pistol grips, rail handle, butt stocks, and fore grips.

On January 26, 2023, Rowntree was charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code of Canada:

· Section 86(1) Careless handling of a firearm;

· Section 86(2) Unsafe storage contrary to regulations (two counts);

· Section 88(1) Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose;

· Section 90(1) Carrying a concealed firearm;

· Section 91(1) Unauthorized possession of firearm;

· Section 91(2) Unauthorized possession of prohibited devices (nine counts);

· Section 92(1) Possession of firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized;

· Section 92(2) Possession of prohibited firearms knowing its possession is unauthorized (nine counts);

· Section 93(1)(a) Possession at unauthorized place;

· Section 94(1) Unauthorized possession in motor vehicle;

· Section 95(1) Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

The following day, he appeared in Dartmouth Provincial Court and was released on conditions. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 5, 2023.

The CBSA investigation related to offences under the Customs Act is ongoing.

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