Nanaimo RCMP, backed up by the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Team, seized drugs and more than a dozen firearms during a search of a home in south Nanaimo.
The operation took place at a house on Centre Street at about 9:20 a.m. Friday where police seized 11 long-barelled firearms, three assault-type rifles and a small quantity of marijuana.
Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong, Nanaimo RCMP spokeswoman, said four people were arrested when police entered the house and a fifth suspect was arrested when he arrived at the home about 40 minutes later. All five suspects, under 30-years-old, are residents of Nanaimo.
Armstrong did not know if all of the firearms are real or if some are replicas.
“Three, we believe, are assault rifles, but until they get tested we can’t say if they’re automatic,” she said. “What we’re trying to figure out is if it’s connected to organized crime, or if it’s just kids that have them or what. There’ll be more out on Monday after we get a better idea of what’s going on.”
The emergency response team is automatically called in when police have information weapons are at the scene of a search.
“The emergency response team was utilized for the safety of the membership as well as the community,” Armstrong said.
Police released one female and two male suspects. Two male suspects remain in custody.
Police have not said what, if any, charges are being recommended against the suspects and the investigation is continuing.