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12-gauge sawed-off shotgun seized in Moosonee investigation, 3 charged

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Three Moosonee residents between the ages of 28 and 40 are facing multiple firearms-related charges after provincial police received a tip about a 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun in the community.

Officers with the James Bay detachment started the investigation after receiving information about the firearm Dec. 4, Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release Friday.

12-gauge sawed-off shotgun seized in Moosonee in firearms investigation. Dec. 7/23 (Ontario Provincial Police James Bay detachment)

The first suspect, a 40-year-old male, was arrested the following day and charged with careless use and storage of a firearm, having a weapon for a dangerous purpose, unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm, knowledge of the unauthorized possession, two counts of failing to comply with an undertaking and having methamphetamine.

On Dec. 7, shortly before 1:30 a.m., officers executed a search warrant on Hutchison Road, where the shotgun was found with ammunition.

A 28-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man were arrested and charged with the same firearms-related charges as the first suspect.

Both are also charged with having a prohibited firearm with ammunition, trafficking a firearm, and transferring a firearm without authority.

The woman is also charged with obstructing a peace officer.

All three suspects were held in custody pending a bail hearing.

"Illicit firearms pose a serious risk to public safety," OPP said.

"They are often used by organized crime groups, including street gangs, to broaden and secure drug trafficking networks. They are also used in violent crimes including theft, intimidation, extortion and homicide."

Last month, a 21-year-old woman died in Moose Factory after sustaining critical injuries in an unrelated case.

The small island community is just across the river from Moosonee.

Police are still looking for information about two pickup trucks of interest that were in the area around the time Loni Chum was found on Nov. 7.

OPP Const. Kyler Brouwer told CTV News in an email the two investigations are unrelated. 

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