Two Ottawa men are facing a variety of firearm and drug charges after Ottawa Police say a loaded handgun and open cannabis was found inside a car near the St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

Police say an officer was patrolling the St. Laurent Blvd. and Donald St. area Thursday night when, at around 11:25 p.m. , they noticed a car parked in a no-parking zone. Two men were inside, who appeared to be asleep. An opened package of cannabis was seen, in contravention of the Cannabis Control Act, police say, and the vehicle was searched.

The officer seized a loaded handgun, as well as a quantity of drugs and cash.

Police say Eric Jean-Pierre, 24, has been charged with:

  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Careless Use of a Firearm
  • Carrying Concealed Prohibited Device
  • Unauthorized possession of a Prohibited Weapon
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Unauthorized possession of Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of a Firearm Restricted Weapon
  • Unlawfully Possess Schedule I Substance
  • Unauthorized possession of a Prohibited Device

Amin Hussein, 20, has been charged with:

  • Unauthorized possession of Firearm in a Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of a Firearm Prohibited
  • Possession of a Schedule I Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking
  • Unauthorized possession of a Prohibited Firearm
  • Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to Public Peace
  • Fail to Comply with an Undertaking
  • Have Care and Control of a Vehicle or Boat with Cannabis in Open Original Packaging

Both were scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

Ottawa Police say officers have seized 19 crime guns so far this year. Police also say the number of shootings in the city has dropped 20% compared to 2018. 20 shooting cases have been investigated so far this year, according to police. There were 34 by this time last year.

It's illegal to transport cannabis in a vehicle unless the original package of legally-purchased cannabis is still sealed. Per the Cannabis Control Act:

Transporting cannabis

12 (1) No person shall drive or have the care or control of a vehicle or boat, whether or not it is in motion, while any cannabis is contained in the vehicle or boat.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to cannabis that,

(a) is in its original packaging and has not been opened; or

(b) is packed in baggage that is fastened closed or is not otherwise readily available to any person in the vehicle or boat. 2018, c. 12, Sched. 1, s. 12 (1).