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Gun manufacturing, drug charges laid after Fraser Valley searches

Police raids found a firearm-manufacturing lab using 3D printer technology.
During their raids, B.C. police found 3D printer technology for manufacturing guns.

A Fraser Valley man is facing gun-manufacturing and drug charges after police raided three Abbotsford residences two years ago.

The charges against Tyson Saverio Santolla, 33, of Aldergrove were the culmination of a case that began in November 2020. Information received by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) led to deployment of the Illegal Firearms Enforcement Team to investigate the alleged manufacturing of privately made firearms.

On May 28, 2022, investigators arrested two men and a woman. Search warrants were executed at two locations in Aldergrove and one in Abbotsford.

In one residence, police found products and items associated to the manufacturing of controlled substances and a firearm-manufacturing lab using 3D printer technology.

Among items seized were:

  • 1.7 kg of methamphetamine;
  • 300 g of fentanyl;
  • two 3D printers;
  • 3D printed pistol frames, and;
  • Glock firearm parts.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada approved charges May 23.

Santolla faces one charge of firearms manufacturing, five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of a restricted firearm without a licence.

Santolla has been arrested and released on court-imposed conditions pending the judicial process.

“Privately made firearms represent a growing trend in British Columbia and internationally by which criminals attempt to obtain firearms and to profit from firearms sales," said CFSEU-BC Insp. Joel Hussey.

He said CFSEU-BC works closely with its partners across the province to investigate and disrupt the people and groups who may seek to illegally make and sell firearms.