Nationwide gun investigation leads to arrests in Hamilton and Oakville

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Published July 13, 2023 at 11:16 am

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A Hamilton man and Oakville man are among 11 individuals who have been charged with 58 weapons and drugs offences in a nationwide OPP “Ghost Gun” Investigation.

The investigation began after police became aware of a business that was selling firearm parts that were not compatible with other firearms and were exclusively to create personally manufactured firearms.

Most commonly produced utilizing 3D printing technologies, these weapons pose serious risks to the community because, unlike other fire arms, they do not bear serial numbers and cannot be traced.

The guns are then made available to dangerous offenders who may use them in a criminal offence or to facilitate criminal activity.

The OPP executed 14 search warrants simultaneously on June 20, 2023 at locations across the province and items seized include but are not limited to:

  • 10 3D printed firearms (some of which were loaded);
  • 16 handguns;
  • 43 partially manufactured firearms;
  • 46 unrestricted firearms;
  • 123 magazines including several prohibited magazines;
  • 10 3D printers;
  • thousands of rounds of ammunition;
  • hundreds of firearm parts;
  • one suppressor;
  • 11 airsoft rifles;
  • four bulletproof vests;
  • illicit drugs including over 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills;
  • $33,700 in Canadian currency; and,
  • one cryptocurrency wallet.

“Today, our communities are safer because of the collaborative efforts of our policing partners who are working together to reduce the number of personally manufactured firearms being produced and trafficked in communities across the country,” said Detective Inspector Lee Fulford.

“The accused have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the regulations surrounding firearms, and the OPP is committed to holding them responsible for their actions.”

Craig McCallen, 48, of Hamilton was arrested and has been charged with:

  • Manufacture a prohibited firearm.
  • Two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm.
  • Possession of a loaded firearm.
  • Two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm knowing it’s unauthorized.
  • Two counts of careless use of a firearm.

Glen Vigneri, 54, of Oakville was arrested and has been charged with:

  • Possession of a prohibited device.
  • Manufacture a firearm.

The investigation was led by the Sûreté du Quebec alongside partners from the Integrated Weapons Trafficking Team, which includes members of the Montréal Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency.

In Ontario, this investigation was conducted by the OPP-led Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit (PWEU), with support from the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau and the OPP Community Street Crime Unit.

Supporting the execution of search warrants were police units from Halton, Durham, London, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, York, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton, Windsor and Woodstock. Additional supports were also provided by the RCMP and the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service.

“Today’s operations will neutralise a number of illegal firearms providers in Canada, and as a result will reduce armed violence in the country,” says Chief-Inspector Benoit Dubé, Director of Criminal Investigations of the Sûreté du Quebec. “Together with its partners, in Quebec and in Canada, the Sûreté du Québec will continue to monitor and act against armed violence.”

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information about the possession, manufacturing or trafficking of firearms is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or visit their website at ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

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