A parcel that contained prohibited weapons has landed a Brandon man in trouble, prompting police to warn Canadian buyers to beware.
Police say the weapons were shipped to Canada after being bought online via a U.S. company.
They want to remind online shoppers that items that are legal in one country may not be legal in this one.
"That’s the problem with ordering online … you’ve got to make sure it’s allowed in Canada," said an RCMP officer who investigated the matter. "The guys that are selling it, they don’t care.
"Make sure what you’re ordering from the U.S. is allowed into Canada."
The officer, who asked not to be named due to his need for anonymity in his job, confirmed that the items were allegedly ordered from swordsswords.com which appears to be based in the U.S.
The investigator said that the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted a box as it entered Canada in late September.
The CBSA, which spot-checks parcels, discovered weapons inside, weapons that are prohibited in Canada.
Court documents list the items as: three pistol-grip crossbows, 10 brass knuckles, two butterfly knives, four switchblade knives, one blow gun, three throwing stars, a spring-assisted knife and a stun gun.
The investigator said some of the brass knuckles were part of belt buckles (still prohibited in Canada) and the crossbows were miniature ones.
The blow gun was made of plastic and came with small darts, while the stun gun formed part of a flashlight.
There were also other items in the box that weren’t prohibited, such as lighters and regular folding knives.
The CBSA alerted the RCMP Border Integrity Unit in Boissevain and a customs and excise officer was assigned to the case.
Investigators then allowed the box to be delivered to its destination — a Brandon pawn shop.
On Oct. 4, officers watched as it was delivered by Canada Post, then executed a search warrant, entered the store and seized the items.
They also arrested the man whose name appeared on the box. He had also signed for the package, police said.
The Brandon Police Service assisted closely with the investigation, the RCMP officer noted.
None of the above allegations have been proven in court.
Richard Donald Smith, 38, of Brandon is charged with unauthorized importing of prohibited weapons, and possession of prohibited weapons without a licence.
He made his first court appearance on Monday and will appear in court again in mid-December.