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Man charged with trafficking stolen firearms

Mar 21 2012

Lucky Jhagra, the former Island Outfitters manager accused of stealing 159 firearms, has been charged with six counts of trafficking of firearms.

Saanich police allege Jhagra sold at least six of the guns in Greater Victoria.

The charges are the most serious faced by Jhagra and carry a mandatory minimum sentence of three years and a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Saanich police also allege Jhagra sold more firearms to people outside the province, but they are still co-ordinating with other police agencies to recover those guns.

Jhagra, 40, was arrested Feb. 2, after police found a cache of weapons in his Shelbourne Street home. He is alleged to have stolen the firearms from the hunting and outdoors store where he worked for four years. The itmes include rifles, shotguns, Glock pistols, antique revolvers, a semi-automatic assault rifle and a collector's edition Desert Eagle handgun, as well as 400 boxes of ammunition, crossbows and hunting and fishing equipment.

Jhagra was originally charged with theft over $5,000 and possession of a weapon obtained through an offence. But as the investigation went on, detectives obtained documents through the province's chief firearms officer that showed several guns had been sold, said police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

All the guns were registered under the now-repealed long gun registry.

A warrant for the new charges were sworn late last week and Jhagra turned himself in to police Monday. Jhagra was set to appear in court Tuesday, but was held in custody until a bail hearing Wednesday.

His defence lawyer, Andrew Tam, would not comment on the case.

Jhagra allegedly sold the guns — including rifles, long-barrel guns and pistols — by posting them on websites popular with gun enthusiasts, Jantzen said.

Officers expected to seize the six guns sold in Greater Victoria by Tuesday. It might take longer to recover the guns sold outside B.C., Jantzen said.

Island Outfitters is expected to have most of the guns returned before the trial, but some will be kept to display as evidence, Jantzen said.

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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