B.C. gun runner sentenced in U.S. court

  • Jan. 30, 2016 7:00 a.m.

by Jennifer Saltman/Special to the Langley Advance

A 32-year-old man who bought guns in Washington state and then smuggled them into B.C. for resale has been sentenced to prison time.

Tyler Ryan Cuff pleaded guilty in October 2015 to one count of dealing firearms without a licence and was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Spokane to 30 months in custody, followed by three years of supervised release.

Cuff, who had been arrested in Langley, also forfeited firearms, ammunition and more than $15,000 in Canadian and U.S. currency seized during searches of his home.

According to a plea agreement that is part of Cuff’s U.S. court file, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) learned in December 2012 that Cuff — a resident of Oroville, Wash. who had dual citizenship — was buying numerous firearms at gun shows.

He claimed to be a gun collector, but was uninterested in boxes or accessories that came with guns (unusual for a gun collector) and purchased mostly handguns, none of which were considered particularly collectible.

The ATF received information that Cuff was taking guns into Canada to sell and that he often exchanged thousands of dollars of Canadian currency for U.S. currency at a time at a U.S. bank.

He had minimal earnings in Washington state.

He also had a number of friends in Osoyoos, B.C., and crossed into Canada 41 times in a 60-day period in the fall of 2012, though some crossings were work related.

The ATF worked with a gun seller to set up gun sales that Cuff had requested and had one of its undercover officers contact Cuff about buying guns.

Cuff’s Oroville home was searched during the investigation. Cuff admitted to buying guns but said he was selling them to Washington residents and denied taking firearms into Canada. Officers seized 37 pistols, 77 empty gun boxes, three long guns, 109 gun magazines, documents, a cellphone and several computers.

After the search, Cuff entered Canada and it’s believed he did not return to the U.S.

The plea agreement states that Cuff would typically pay $400 to $600 for guns in Washington and sell them in Canada for two or three times what he paid.

It also states that at least 13 of the firearms that Cuff purchased in Washington have been recovered at crime scenes in Canada.

In B.C., the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit began looking into Cuff’s activities after receiving a tip about him in May 2013. He was living in Osoyoos at the time.

In August 2013, an undercover officer met with Cuff, who (according to U.S. court documents) bragged about smuggling guns into Canada from the U.S. and offered to get an AK-47 for the officer.

He claimed to have made $100,000 selling guns in Canada. The officer ended up purchasing a Norinco MAK-90 rifle and several steroid kits from Cuff.

Cuff was arrested in Langley and charged with four weapons offences. Eight months later, he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized and manufacturing or transferring a firearm.

Cuff’s sentencing is scheduled to take place in early February in provincial court in Surrey.

According to Cuff’s Washington state plea agreement, his U.S. sentence will run concurrent with the one imposed in Canada, and will be served in a Canadian institution.

Jennifer Saltman is a reporter with the Vancouver Province.

For more from the Province, click HERE.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

Vancouver G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

Langley’s Hong takes silver in Winter Games vault

The Langley athlete completed a tricky move in competition to clinch the podium.

First phase of 208th widening in Langley Township budget

Work could star this year, if the council approves the first project.

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read