‘Suspicious parcels’ seized at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario lead to numerous weapons

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Published July 3, 2024 at 11:44 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo
Numerous guns and ammunition were seized as a result of several search warrants executed following the interception of three suspicious packages, two of which arrived at Pearson Airport in Mississauga. (Photo: Canada Border Services Agency)

A New Brunswick man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for numerous weapons and smuggling offences that can be traced back to the interception by Canadian border officials of two “suspicious parcels” at Pearson Airport in Mississauga and a third package at a mail-sorting plant near the airport.

Canada Border Services Agency officials said in a news release that Daniel Marcel Ruest, 57, was sentenced on June 18 to four-and-a-half years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to numerous firearm-related offences that include smuggling and firearm manufacturing.

The sentencing was the culmination of an investigation by agency officers that was set in motion in May 2023 with the arrival in Mississauga of “three suspicious parcels” addressed to Ruest’s home in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, NB.

Border authorities intercepted two of the packages at Pearson Airport’s air cargo facility and the third at the nearby International Mail Processing Centre on Dixie Road in Mississauga.

The parcels contained a firearm suppressor and two replica handguns, all of which are prohibited in Canada, according to the agency. The packages were seized by authorities in Ontario and the matter was referred to CBSA criminal investigators in New Brunswick.

Ruest was arrested last September, after which police found numerous illegal guns, knives, other weapons and ammunition during search warrants executed at both his home and in his car.

Police seized the following:

  • .22 calibre shotgun
  • bear banger loaded with a 12-gauge cartridge as well as rounds of ammunition (bear bangers make a loud gunshot style noise and are used to scare bears away fired into the air)
  • six unsecured long rifles
  • six unsecured sawed-off shotguns
  • unsecured .38 calibre revolver
  • unsecured semi-automatic pistol
  • four self-manufactured firearms
  • brass knuckles
  • stun gun
  • six firearm suppressors
  • ballistic vest
  • five prohibited spring knives

In pleading guilty, Ruest was convicted of the following offences:

  • smuggling
  • manufacturing of firearms
  • unauthorized possession of prohibited firearms
  • unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm
  • unauthorized possession of non-restricted firearms
  • prohibited devices
  • prohibited weapon
  • loaded prohibited firearms
  • prohibited firearm with readily accessible ammunitions

Karine Martel, a spokesperson for the border services agency, said in an email to insauga.com that “upon arrival in Canada, all international mail items are sent to the CBSA to process at one of three CBSA mail centres in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.”

Border services officers then screen all goods coming into Canada and examine more closely those that may pose a threat, she added.

According to the agency, border officials in Canada intercepted and seized more than 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023.

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