Police Make One of the Largest Gun Seizures in Region’s History
Peel police say one man has been arrested in connection with that officers are calling one of the largest gun seizures in Peel Regional Police history.
At a recent press conference, Peel police Acting/Det. Sgt. Chad Lines said that an ongoing investigation entitled Project Baron has led to the seizure of 26 guns and $1.2 million in illegal drugs.
Police say 35-year-old Brampton man Salem Talke is facing over 60 firearm and drug-related charges. He was arrested on March 21.
"Illegal firearms pose a deadly threat to community safety," said Interim police Chief Chris McCord. "We're pleased to be able to show results of the hard work of Peel Regional Police over the past two months. Guns were seized in one of biggest seizures in Peel Regional Police history.”
Lines also agreed that the seizure represents a massive breakthrough in terms of public safety, arguing that taking one firearm—let alone 26—off the streets makes the region safer.
Over the course of investigation, search warrants were issued (and searches subsequently conducted) for a home in the Sandalwood Parkway and Hurontario St. area in Brampton, two vehicles, a storage locker in Rexdale and a residence in the Liberty Village area in Toronto. All of the properties are associated with the accused.
Police said officers discovered custom-made hiding spots for firearms in furniture and in the two vehicles. Police say these sophisticated hiding spots put officers at additional risk, as the weapons were easily accessible to vehicle occupants during traffic stops.
Police said the hiding spots were created using hydraulics and magnets.
Police said the majority of the firearms that were seized were loaded. Officers said they also seized high-capacity magazines and 1,500 rounds of ammunition. Police also reported seizing 3 1/2 kg of cocaine, 2 kg of meth, 1 kg of heroin, 1 kg of fentanyl and 300 grams of mushrooms.
A bullet proof vest and currency were also seized.
"Firearms and concealment methods were of concern," said Lines. "When stopped, individuals would have quick access to their firearms. They pose a greater risk to police. This is a very significant seizure that will prevent further criminal activity in our community."
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown also spoke at the conference.
"Let me congratulate Peel Regional Police on this significant arrest. We're working together to ensure Mississauga and Brampton remain safe. We need to stop violence and stop handguns from coming into our city. I support Peel Regional Police and the brave women and men who work day in and day out to make sure Mississauga remains one of the safest cities in Canada," Crombie told reporters.
Brown also thanked police, saying that residents were nervous following an unusually violent summer in the GTA.
"I want to applaud Peel Regional Police and interim Chief McCord for this major accomplishment in public safety. Last summer, people were alarmed by gun activity in our community. This is a huge breakthrough. Everyone has the right to feel safe, this is a major step forward for public safety."
Police told reporters that the accused is likely involved in high-level criminal activity.
The investigation is ongoing.