Big Weapons Bust by #OPP from USA to GTA 052318


(ORILLIA, ON) – Three people face charges following a lengthy investigation by members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit (PWEU) and the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS).

Project FLICKER began in 2017 as an investigation into the importation and trafficking of firearms from the United States. Police allege that two individuals from the Greater Toronto Area were working with a third person who was a Canadian citizen living in Indiana. During 2016, police allege that 10 handguns were imported and trafficked in Ontario. Two of the 10 imported firearms have been recovered to date. During search warrants executed earlier this month, police seized five other domestically-purchased firearms. Police have charged the following with offences contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drug and Substances Act.

1) Stephen EASTON, aged 46 years, of Indiana:

·      Trafficking in firearms,

·      Importation of firearms, and

·      Tampering with serial number.

The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa on June 27, 2018.

2) Norman BARKWILL, aged 24 years, of Oshawa, Ontario:

·      Unauthorized possession;

·      Importation of firearms;

·      Trafficking of firearms;

·      Possession of firearm with serial number tampered; and,

·      Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Marihuana).

The accused remains in custody pending a next court appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa.

3) David INESON, aged 28 years, of Toronto, Ontario:

·      Unauthorized possession;

·      Importation of firearm; Trafficking of firearm; and,

·      Possession of firearm with serial number tampered.

The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Oshawa on June 1, 2018.


  • The Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit (PWEU) is made up of nine police agencies – including Durham Regional Police Service – the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
  • The goal of PWEU is to take enforcement action against persons involved in the illegal movement of firearms, ammunition and explosives. This includes the offenses of smuggling, trafficking, and possession of “crime guns” to reduce the flow of illegal weapons being made available to dangerous criminals in Ontario.
  •  PWEU is part of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) which engages in proactive, multi-jurisdiction investigations targeting organized crime groups and criminality in Ontario.

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