A tip from an informant led police to stake out a Winnipeg-bound vehicle and seize a cache of powerful guns including an AK-47, weapons investigators believe were to be sold on the black market and would likely fall into the hands of criminals.
A Manitoba man and his girlfriend now face a slew of weapons-related charges in connection with the seizure, one of several recent weapons-related busts in Winnipeg.
Police pulled over a Chevrolet Impala on Portage Avenue Sunday, moments after it entered city limits after passing through Headingley heading east into the city.
In the hours before, police moved to set up roadside surveillance after a "proven and reliable" confidential informant tipped them off there would be guns in the car, prosecutors said at a bail hearing this week.
In the trunk, police found five unloaded guns: three 12-gauge shotguns, a double-barrelled shotgun as well as an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, Judge Marva Smith heard.
All but one of the weapons had seen their serial numbers obliterated and one of the shotguns was traced back to a theft in the community of Amaranth, about 180 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, Crown attorney Breta Passler said.
The source also said the man in the car was taking the guns from Sandy Bay to an unknown hotel to sell them to a third party, Passler alleged.
Shane Malcolm, 26, and Mallory Beaulieu, 25, were arrested. They are presumed innocent.
None of the allegations has been proven.
Beaulieu, who has no prior criminal record, was granted bail despite opposition from the Crown and Smith's overall finding the case presented an "alarming scenario."
"From Ms. Beaulieu's point of view" she had no knowledge of these guns," her defence lawyer argued. "The Crown's case... will come down to knowledge."
Malcolm remains in custody pending a court appearance and possible bail application today. He faces 55 charges in all.
Court records show he was only recently granted bail on drug-trafficking and personation charges. He was also bound by a weapons ban placed on him in 2010.
Weapons-related arrests have been making headlines of late, with police recovering guns of various kinds in at least five separate busts they've publicized since August.