Man charged with firearm offences after traffic stop in Nanaimo

A 29-year-old man is facing firearm offences after a mid-evening July traffic stop in Nanaimo yielded a cache of arms and drug paraphernalia.

Declan O’Reilly, who is expected to appear in Nanaimo provincial court Sept. 28, has been charged with seven firearms offences, including possession of a firearm while prohibited.

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The charges result from a sharp-eyed RCMP officer noticing a white Lexus with a suspected prohibited driver sitting behind the wheel as the car came toward police July 25.

The officer noted the driver and a female passenger changed seats before he approached the car.

O’Reilly was arrested for driving while prohibited. The female passenger was arrested for an existing court order prohibiting her from being with the driver. She was later released.

During the traffic stop, the officer saw in plain view in the vehicle, drug paraphernalia commonly used to traffic drugs. An inventory search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a bulletproof vest, a loaded, sawed-off 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun, rifle and ammunition — shotgun shells and two loaded rifle magazines.

Officers also found what appeared to be a pipe bomb.

The vehicle was secured and the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit determined the pipe bomb was an improvised explosive device. It was safely destroyed.

“The officer’s actions demonstrated the variety of skills that are important to the job,” said RCMP spokeswoman Const. Sherri Wade. “He recognized the vehicle and the occupants. He communicated to nearby officers to assist and he knew that he had the authority to search the trunk, where he found the prohibited weapons and the explosive device.”

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