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OPP seize 36 firearms on St. Clair River; search underway for suspects, watercraft

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Journal staff

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say they’re looking for two suspects and a watercraft after recovering 36 illegal firearms in a suspected smuggling incident near Port Lambton.

In a news release issued Saturday, police say members of the OPP Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) received information in the early hours of Thursday, Oct. 26, regarding suspicious activity in the Port Lambton area, near Old River Road.

“A personal watercraft (PWC) with two occupants was observed traveling on the St. Clair River,” police stated. “With support from members of the Lambton County OPP (Corunna) Satellite Detachment, the OPP Canine Unit, the OPP Emergency Response Team and the Walpole Island Police Service, 36 illegal firearms were located.”

Two suspects remain outstanding, as does the PWC,” police added. “Officers believe that the suspects may have fled the area on foot.”

Investigators are seeking information from the public that may help identify the suspects and locate the PWC.

“Illegal firearms pose a serious risk to public safety and are often used by organized crime groups, including street gangs, to commit violent crimes including theft, intimidation, extortion and homicide,” said Detective Inspector Lee Fulford of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. “Any tip from the public, no matter how small, may be the missing piece that officers need to solve this investigation and to prevent future firearms smuggling incidents.”

The investigation is ongoing, and police say further updates will be provided as necessary.

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