Surrey courthouse. Undated Google street view image.

Security guard gets three-and-a-half years for gun trafficking

Sixteen guns purchased between September 2015 and March 2016, trial told

A former security guard from Langley has been sentenced to three years for using a Possession and Acquisition Licence, or PAL to buy guns and re-sell them to people without permits.

Christina Stover pleaded guilty to four counts of trafficking in firearms relating to her purchase of several semi-automatic handguns.

Three of the guns were restricted weapons, a Ruger, a Glock, and a Smith and Wesson, and the fourth handgun was a .40 calibre Beretta.

The transcript of the May decision by Surrey Provincial Court Judge Robert Hamilton was recently posted online.

It described how an investigation was launched after an employee at the Maple Ridge gun store where Stover purchased the handguns told police the purchases appeared suspicious.

Between Sept. 4, 2015 and March 11, 2016, Stover bought one semi-automatic rifle and and 15 semi-automatic handguns from the store.

She was arrested after her last purchase of three firearms.

Her PAL required Stover to transport the weapons directly to her residence on 204 Street in Langley.

Instead, police observed her heading to a nearby restaurant where she illegally transferred three handguns to a second party before returning to her car to continue home.

Before her arrest, Stover worked as a security guard for 20 years, which was how she obtained her Possession and Acquisition Licence which permitted her to purchase and possess the firearms.

Crown prosecutor Winston Sayson described Stover as a “straw purchaser,” a legal and legitimate gun purchaser who buys the weapons for someone who cannot legally acquire certain firearms.

The charges against the second party were subsequently dismissed following a Charter challenge to the legality of the search of his home.

In imposing a term of three-and-a-half years, Judge Hamilton said Stover transferred the guns with no regard for the potential danger to the public.

“That sentence, in my view, recognizes your considerable moral blameworthiness in this case,” the judge said.

“It reflects the serious denunciation of your crime in circumstances where society calls out for a significant penal sanction for trafficking in lethal weaponry within the criminal underworld.

Of the 16 firearms purchased by Stover five have been recovered and 11 remain unaccounted for.

One of the firearms was discovered by the police during a search of a known drug house, the judge noted.

READ MORE: Criminals use dark web to sell Canadians guns

READ MORE: Illegal guns sourced in Canada surge compared to those smuggled from U.S.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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