Ex-mountie and wife charged after weapons seized
TORONTO - Machine guns, homemade assault rifles, land mines, illegal crossbows and even a small cannon make up a stockpile of weapons found in a home in Bancroft and police suspect the weapons were headed for the black market. A former mountie and his wife face hundreds of charges.
The investigation was a joint operation between the OPP and Durham Regional Police. The 67 weapons were found hidden in the walls and garage of a home on Spooks Bay Lane last Thursday. The investigation began several months ago with a tip to the Durham Regional Police Guns and Gangs unit. Many of the weapons were on display at the OPP Downsview headquarters Tuesday.
Police say they found machining equipment in the garage as well as altered weapons, silencers, homemade assault rifles and guns with serial numbers shaved off. Tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition was also recovered. The Department of National Defence had to be brought in to help remove some of the items. Investigators are now trying to determine why someone would put together such a large cache of firearms.
“There’s no possible reason why anybody would have such an arsenal of weapons,” said Insp. Mario Lessard, of the Durham Regional Police.
“We are pleased that these weapons are now secure,” Lessard said. “As police officers we never want to see this kind of firepower in one place. It tends to attract attention and could be the target of criminals who want these weapons for their illegal activities.”
Police have charged 55-year-old David Kift of Bancroft and his wife Marion with various offences including illegal possession, alteration and manufacturing of prohibited and restricted firearms. Kift retired from the RCMP in 1996. In 2008, following a similar weapons seizure, Kift was placed under a lifetime weapons ban. He has been denied bail in the current case. His wife, 53-year old Marion Kift, has been released on bail and is now staying in Oshawa. Lessard said the couple had ties to Durham Region several years ago but he did not go into detail.