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Police seize weapons sold at downtown smoke shop 

For Immediate Release: 08-Apr-2024 @ 8:50 AM
MRU #: 24R028

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has seized more than 100 weapons being offered for sale out of a downtown smoke shop.

In November of 2023, Downtown Beat members initiated an investigation into the sale of prohibited weapons occurring at 5 Star Gift and Smoke Shop at 105 Street and 107Ave. Police had been receiving numerous community complaints about violence in the area, and became aware of the sale of prohibited weapons at the shop.

The investigation culminated in a search warrant for the store that was executed on Apr. 4, 2024. Police seized:

  • 10 sword canes
  • More than 100 large cannisters of bear spray
  • More than 20 cannisters of small handheld bear spray
  • Approximately five flashlight-style tasers/cattle prods
  • More than 30 butterfly knives
  • More than 20 pairs of brass knuckles
  • Illicit tobacco
  • A controlled substance, believed to be khat, for the purpose of trafficking

Weapons seized, including bear spray, brass knuckles, tasers

Weapons seized, including sword canes and butterfly knives

In addition to the seized illegal items, the business was selling drug paraphernalia for both consumption and trafficking.

The store owner, Amanual Dessie, 41, and his business, 5 Star Gift and Smoke Shop, are charged with trafficking a prohibited weapon (x7), possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and selling of illicit tobacco.

“The availability of these types of weapons contributes significantly to the violence and disorder we’re seeing on the streets in parts of our inner city,” says Staff Sergeant Michael Keef, with EPS’ Downtown Branch. “That’s why we take these crimes very seriously, and we’re going to continue to investigate businesses that are selling illegal weapons.”

Anyone with information about the illegal sale of weapons is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

 

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For media inquiries please contact the EPS Media Relations Unit at mediarelations@edmontonpolice.ca.