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OPP lay 26 charges during traffic stop in Loyalist Township

Two handguns located during a routine traffic stop. Image provided by OPP.

Two people from Quebec are in Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) custody awaiting a bail hearing after a traffic stop on Highway 401 in Loyalist Township yesterday morning.

Shortly after 9 a.m. on Sunday, Mar. 14, 2021, a traffic enforcement officer with the East Region Highway Safety Division (ERHSD) stopped an SUV that was clocked speeding eastbound on Highway 401, according to a release from OPP on the same date. OPP said the licence plates attached to the vehicle were found to be stolen from a similar type of vehicle.

The two occupants of the vehicle were arrested and, a search revealed two loaded handguns in their possession, OPP said. 

A 24 year-old from Lasalle, Quebec and a 28 year-old from the St Clair, Quebec are both facing 26 Criminal Code charges each, including:

  • 4 counts of carrying a concealed weapon or ammunition;
  • 4 counts of possession of prohibited weapons or ammunition;
  • 2 counts of possession of ammunition or firearms contrary to a prohibition order;
  • 2 counts of possession of, or knowledge of, a firearm with the serial number tampered with;
  • 2 counts of possession of loaded prohibited or restricted firearm;
  • 2 counts of possession of a weapon;
  • 2 counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm;
  • 2 counts of possession of a prohibited device or ammunition;
  • 2 counts of being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm;
  • 2 counts of knowledge of possession of a firearm;
  • Tampering with the serial number of a firearm; and
  • Possession of property obtained by crime.

The names of the accused are not being released at this time because the investigation is ongoing with further charges possible, police said.

Both accused remain in police custody and will appear at a virtual bail hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice in Greater Napanee on Monday, March 15, 2021.

“This incident serves to highlight once again that criminal possession of firearms is not just a problem encountered in big cities” said Inspector Scott Semple, detachment commander of the Lennox and Addington County OPP detachment. “What’s more, this occurrence highlights the potential dangers that are inherent in every single interaction that police officers have with people on every duty shift. There is no such thing as a ‘routine’ traffic stop.”

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