The London Police Service gives partial credit to a provincial grant for a series of recent gun and drug busts in the Forest City.
On Wednesday (Jan. 30) London police in conjunction with the RCMP arrested an 18-year-old man London man, Kurtis Ellul, after executing a search warrant on Augusta Crescent.
They found three handguns, one of them loaded, almost $2,700 in cash, 57 grams of pot and six rounds of ammunition.
The weapons included a loaded .380 calibre “Cobra” semi-automatic handgun and two .22 calibre revolvers.
The jackpot has netted Ellul 11 charges, include possess loaded regulated firearm, possess firearm obtained by crime, three counts of careless storage of a firearm and three counts of unlicensed person possess prohibited/restricted weapon.
None of the charges have been proven in court.
The bust came a day after the LPS guns and drugs section found $100,000 worth of cocaine (one kilogram) at a residence on Capulet Lane.
Over the weekend previous, on Saturday (Jan. 26) four people were arrested on weapons charges after a pair of search warrants were executed on Simcoe and Maitland streets. Police found another loaded .380 firearm, $8,000 worth of cocaine, 275 grams of marijuana, $3,700 in cash and two “expandable batons.”
According to LPS spokesperson Const. Ken Steeves, London police took advantage of a PAVIS (Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy) grant to work with the RCMP on the investigations that led to the busts.
The LPS is one of 17 municipal police services partnered in the program, modeled after the Toronto Anti-Violence Strategy. PAVIS funneled $15 million to local police services from 2007-2011. Another $16 million was to be distributed through 2013, according to a January 27, 2011 press release from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
The program “helps police fight guns and gangs by supporting targeted enforcement in areas where gang activity is an issue, focusing on crime prevention and building relationships with youth and mobilizing communities.”
Steeves said it’s a valuable resource that helps the LPS make London a safer place to live.
“It seems more severe when there are more guns, but we can’t minimize the impact when we seize even one gun,” he said. “Getting just one gun off the streets is huge.”