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Penticton business faces gun trafficking charges

The charges stem from a Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit investigation
B.C. Supreme Court chambers at the Penticton Law Courts on Main Street. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Dozens of firearms were seized as part of a police investigation involving two Penticton men and a local business.

The two accused alongside Brasslead Holdings Canada Ltd., also known as Aztech Armory, will be back in court on Aug. 25 to decide whether their trials will be heard by a judge or jury.

The Penticton residents and the company Brasslead Holdings Canada Ltd., have been charged with multiple offences that came out of an investigation by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit that started in 2019. That included multiple search warrants, including one in Keremeos, according to CFSEU Staff Sgt. Lindsey Houghton.

READ MORE: Penticton ice cream shops come together to support business owner attacked with hammer

Charges were laid in January of this year, following firearms seizures and a forensic examination.

Although the exact details of what firearms were seized cannot be disclosed with the case before the courts, Houghton did confirm via email that among those seized were Polymer80 handguns and other prohibited or unregistered firearms.

Polymer80 sells frames which are single casts of polymer without the receiver, barrel or trigger, which were then allegedly sold without serial numbers and led to the company being raided by the United States Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms in December 2020.

Brasslead Holdings Canada Ltd. doing business as Aztech Armory is charged with weapons trafficking, and offering to traffic weapons.

Darius El Masry, an employee at the time of the incident, is charged with one count of storage of a firearm in contravention of regulations, and one count of possessing a firearm knowing the serial number has been altered, defaced or removed.

Marshall Butterfield Witzel, the owner of the business at the time of the alleged incidents according to the CFSEU, is charged with possessing a prohibited weapon knowing its possession is prohibited.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Brasslead Holdings Canada is a Canadian registered importer of parts and accessories for revolvers, pistols, shotguns and rifles.

On its page, Aztech Armory describes itself as a family-run, start-up company, based out of Penticton and Yucca, Arizona.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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