Winnipeg police have busted an improvised firearms manufacturing operation, taking a significant amount of so-called “zip guns” off the streets.
The recently-formed Guns and Gangs Unit seized 11 zip guns last Sunday from a home in the 500 block of Maryland Street.
Officers also seized a .22 calibre bolt action firearm with a sling, numerous improvised firearm parts in various stages of completion, various power tools, approximately one gram of methamphetamine valued at $50.
The bust came as police spotted a man riding his bicycle aggressively in the area of Balmoral Street and Cumberland Avenue, darting in and out of traffic, narrowly avoiding collisions and causing motorists to swerve.
Officers tried to speak with the man, but he fled the scene. He was eventually found entering a yard on Maryland Avenue, where police noticed he had a weapon in his waistband.
He was taken into custody, along with a woman at the residence.
Leslie Randolph Beaulieu, 27, and Krista Marie Roulette, 38, face numerous charges and remain in custody.
Police say zip guns are the second most common seized gun by officers, second to sawed-off firearms. Seizures of such improvised weapons increase from 3 in 2016 to 52 in 2018. So far this year, 31 zip guns have been seized.
Police seized 773 regular firearms in 2016, compared to 1,747 in 2018 alone.
These firearms are as deadly as a commercially produced firearm. A
serious concern for the WPS is that those in the meth trade increasingly are
arming themselves with these weapons. pic.twitter.com/jo3L6hGyws
— Winnipeg Police (@wpgpolice) May 28, 2019