Weapons seized, man arrested on U.S. warrant after vessel search off Pender Island

A BC RCMP Federal Shiprider vessel is seen in this handout photo (BC RCMP)

Mounties tasked with patrolling B.C.'s marine border with the United States say a recent search of an Alaska-bound fishing vessel led to a weapons seizure and an arrest by American authorities.

Members of a BC RCMP Federal Shiprider crew were on patrol in the Haro and Juan de Fuca straits on June 23 when they spotted a 54-foot custom fishing vessel near Moresby Island.

The boat was roughly two nautical miles from the border, and its captain and three occupants said they were making their way from Seattle to Alaska to fish, according to a news release issued Thursday by the RCMP's Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit.

Officers boarded the vessel and directed it to Bedwell Harbour on South Pender Island for inspection by the Canada Border Services Agency, police said.

CBSA officers soon discovered undeclared prohibited firearms and parts, as well as unrestricted firearms. They also found that one of the men on the boat was wanted in the U.S. for felony drug-related charges, according to RCMP.

The prohibited weapons and parts were seized, and the occupants of the vessel were ordered to pay $4,200 in Customs Act fines. Once the fines were paid, the unrestricted firearms were returned to their owners, police said.

"The crew were allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada and subsequently returned to the United States," Mounties said in their release. "Shiprider escorted the vessel back to U.S. waters where it was intercepted by American authorities, who subsequently arrested the man on his outstanding warrant."