Second individual implicated in gun smuggling case
The investigation involved allegations of illegal possession and subsequent sale of firearms from the United States into northwest Ontario and Manitoba. Both suspects are now facing numerous firearms-related charges.
The RCMP D Division Customs and Excise Section in Winnipeg investigated the allegations with the assistance of the RCMP Winnipeg Drug Section and several American law enforcement agencies. Numerous charges have been laid, including charges relating to the sale and possession of two assault rifles, a handgun, prohibited magazines and ammunition. The offences involving these two individuals span between April and December, 2012.
On February 5, 22-year-old Thomas Peter Atkinson, 22 was arrested by the RCMP in Fort Frances, Ontario, while 29-year-old Shawn James Hartnell was arrested by the American authorities in North Dakota, USA. Both these individuals are Canadians and residents of Fort Frances, Ontario (both former Rainy River residents).
Thomas Peter Atkinson also known as Pete Atkinson was transported to Winnipeg. He appeared before the court in Winnipeg on February 7 and was released to appear on March 5, 2013.
Atkinson faces 27 firearms charges laid by the RCMP Customs and Excise Section under the Criminal Code of Canada. The offences occurred in the Province of Manitoba.
Shawn James Hartnell is in custody and facing charges in North Dakota, USA. The RCMP D Division Customs and Excise Section has obtained a warrant for his arrest. Hartnell faces the same 27 charges as Thomas Peter Atkinson. However, he faces an additional eight charges relating to the unlawful possession of a handgun, prohibited magazine and ammunition. In total, he faces 35 firearms-related charges for criminal offences in Manitoba.