Gun trafficking key player gets seven years

Some of the articles shown May 28, 2015 following a multi-police force investigation called Project Harden. The investigation culminated May 27, 2015 with the arrests of eight people. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – One of the key players in a handgun trafficking ring in Eastern Ontario has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Sonia Bernier, 32, of Saint Hubert, Que. pleaded guilty last week to seven of the 12 charges she was facing following the May 27, 2015 bust in Cornwall, Ont.

On a single count of weapons trafficking, she was given a seven year prison sentence, a lifetime weapons ban and she has to submit a DNA sample.

Bernier was also given concurrent sentences, ranging from one to three years, for possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a loaded prohibited firearm, tampering with a firearm serial number, possession of a weapon obtained by committing an offence and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon in a motor vehicle.

On a charge of possession of a prohibited weapon without holding a licence, Bernier was given a one day suspended sentence with 270 days credit for pre-trial custody.

Court documents show she also pleaded guilty to three additional charges before the Ontario Court of Justice – two counts under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act for drug trafficking and one count under the Criminal Code for possession of property obtained by crime.

She has also been fined a total of $2,000, which he has to pay within two years after her release from prison.

Bernier was rounded up along with eight other suspects following a five month investigation by the O.P.P., RCMP, AMPS, CBSA, Ottawa police and Cornwall police, dubbed Project Harden.

There were 107 charges laid after authorities raided Cedar’s On Wheels on Pitt Street and a home near St. Lawrence College.

Handguns, a silencer, an AK-47 assault rifle, high capacity magazines, ammunition, cocaine and marijuana was seized.

The balance of the accused are in various stages of the court process in Cornwall.

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