10/29/2012 03:49 EDT

John Friesen Gun Trafficking Charges: Gun Sold Illegally Used In Alberta Suicide


Dozens of gun trafficking charges have been laid after a firearm sold illegally was used in an Alberta suicide.

The weapon was traced back to the Friesen General store, in Blumenort, which was the subject of a search warrant executed by Mounties on Oct. 24, the RCMP said in a release.

“After several months of investigation, RCMP had learned that the store had been illegally selling firearms to people without firearms licences. The business itself did not have a licence to sell firearms,” said Corporal Phil Viers.

“RCMP had also learned that an illegally purchased firearm was used by an individual to commit suicide with.

“RCMP were granted the search warrant to seize firearms and ammunition which were being sold illegally out of the store and residence. Thirty-nine firearms and numerous types of ammunition were seized.”

John Friesen, 45, has been charged with weapons trafficking, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of property obtained by crime, and counsel, aid or abet to commit suicide.

“RCMP are still actively investigating this file, and will be following up on various other leads related to sales of illegal firearms made by this store,” Viers said, adding that anyone who is purchasing a firearm and who is not asked for their Possession and Acquisition Licence to consider the sale is likely not legal.

Anyone with information on this matter is asked to call Fort Vermilion RCMP at 780-927-3258 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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