The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) used a four legged officer to finally nab a suspect Friday in Prince George.
A tough K9 named Baron is being credited for chasing down and arresting a Prince George man on multiple firearm offences.
After hours of police evasion, 22-year-old Ryan John Moore was finally tracked down. Baron pulled him out of a trunk of a car following the chase after an incident where he allegedly discharged illegal firearms in a rural gravel pit near Prince George.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on May 16 members of the CFSEU-BC were alerted that Moore, who was well-known to police, was heading to a gravel pit on the Teardrop Forest Service Road, commonly used by Prince George-area residents for shooting guns.
"CFSEU-BC members, who had recently begun investigating the man’s alleged possession of firearms and connection to organized crime in BC's north region, responded and when they arrived they overheard numerous bursts of gunfire, which officers quickly determined was coming from at least one automatic weapon,” says CFSEU-BC spokesperson Sergeant Lindsey Houghton.
He says his team recognized that it was a potentially dangerous scenario with at least one person having access to guns and requested the assistance of officers from the Prince George RCMP Detachment and the RCMP North District Police Dog Services Unit.
Just over an hour later Moore and two women got into his vehicle and tried to leave the scene.
Moore drove towards a roadblock that officers had set up, but ignored police challenges and quickly drove off the road, blowing one of his rear tires after striking a culvert.
At that time no chase was given and the man was last seen swerving towards Chief Lake Road.
With help from the Prince George RCMP the suspect vehicle was quickly located nearby, but a dog track was subsequently called off due to the danger to the members regarding the firearm use and dark conditions.
The area was secured by officers and plans were put in place to conduct a search in the morning.
Two hours later while officers were securing the scene for the night the two women, seen in the vehicle, were located, both soaking wet after falling into a nearby lake. Both women were uncooperative and arrested for flight from police.
An hour later, just after midnight on Saturday May 17, RCMP received a complaint that a man was hiding behind a postal box approximately two kilometres from where the suspect vehicle had been abandoned.
An RCMP North District Police Dog Services officer with RCMP Police Service Dog “Baron” attended and located a car leaving the area.
Officers stopped the car and noticed one of the passengers as a known associate of Moore.
“The occupants were removed from the car, arrested, and during a search of the vehicle officers found the prime suspect hiding in the trunk. He refused commands from officers and due to the possibility that he was in possession of guns, Baron was used to extricate him and he was eventually taken into custody, arrested, and transported to hospital for treatment for dog bites,” explained Houghton.
The next morning a search of the gravel pit, the route the vehicle took and the route that the suspects fled on foot, by officers and Baron resulted in the recovery of several guns and numerous rounds of ammunition.
The search revealed a .40 calibre Smith & Wesson pistol with three magazines, several high-capacity magazines for various firearms, and eight boxes of various sized ammunition.
Other guns seized included a Kel Tec 9mm semi-automatic assault-style rifle, a Ruger .223 rifle, two 7.62mm SKS semi- automatic assault-style, and a shotgun.
A total of five people were taken into custody during the course of the incident.
The two women and one of the men inside the second vehicle were arrested and released with no charges pending further investigation.
The other man inside the second vehicle was arrested and is currently remanded in custody on an unrelated charge.
The prime suspect, 22-year-old Ryan John Moore of Prince George, has been charged with one count of obstructing a peace officer, one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and one count of breach of a recognizance by allegedly being out past his court imposed curfew.
So far, no firearms-related charges have been laid by Crown Counsel pending further investigation and a forensic examination of the firearms. A hearing is being held to determine whether he will be remanded or released from custody.