Semi-automatic handgun shipment nabbed in Cornwall; headed for GTA streets, police say

Toronto Police Service Acting Inspector Don Belanger speaks during a news conference in Toronto on Friday, June 22, 2018. In front of the podium are the 60 handguns seized in Cornwall, Ont. as part of the joint investigation. (Toronto Police Service/YouTube via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – Police have seized a large cache of handguns in a joint operation between the Cornwall Community Police Service and the Toronto Police Service’s guns and gangs unit.

The 60 handguns were found in the trunk of a car during a traffic stop on McConnell Avenue about a month ago (May 23). Fifty-nine of them were 9 mm semi-automatic handguns and one was a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun – many with coloured receivers.

Two people from the Toronto area – a 58-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman – were arrested.

They are each facing weapons trafficking charges.

Cornwall police believe the guns were headed for the streets of Toronto.

Some of the 60 semi-automatic handguns seized in Cornwall, Ont. are shown off during a news conference on Friday, June 22, 2018. (@TPSOpsCop/Twitter via Newswatch Group)

During a news conference today in Toronto, Deputy Chief Jim Ramer said the seizure in Cornwall was the largest single seizure in the unit’s history.

“The individual obtained the guns in Cornwall, was en route back to Toronto when he was taken down by our major projects team and our firearms enforcement unit. The 60 handguns…were brand new,” Acting Inspector Don Belanger said.

Through this arrest, investigators were able to trace the guns back to an alleged supplier in Florida.

The guns were allegedly being delivered to “high ranking individuals” within a violent gang, known as the Five Point Generalz.

Sold on the streets in the GTA, Belanger said the gang would have made approximately $200,000.

“The seizure of these weapons will have a sweeping impact, not only in Cornwall, but in the Greater Toronto Area,” Detective Sgt. Chad Maxwell said.

The arrests were part of a Toronto police led operation called Project Patton, which saw a total of 75 arrests across Ontario.