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West Kelowna bomb-maker headed to Alberta police say

A tip to Kelowna RCMP led to the arrest of a man with organized crime connections who was allegedly building bombs in a West Kelowna home, a Kelowna RCMP spokesperson said Monday.

In a press release issued Friday evening, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. revealed the 36-year-old West Kelowna resident was arrested in late August and is likely facing "a variety of explosives-related charges," although he has yet to be named or charged.

According to Kelowna RCMP spokesman Const. Kris Clark, the specialized unit, which serves as the provincial anti-gang agency, assumed responsibility for the case as soon as the tip came in, only drawing on local RCMP to assist in the arrest.

When the individual was arrested—on Wednesday, Aug. 28—search warrants were executed for both the West Kelowna home where he was living and a home he was allegedly moving to in Oyama.

"In the Oyama home, officers found modified timers, batteries, igniters (sic), dismantled shotgun shells, a container of black powder and small wooden boxes fitted with wiring," Srgt. Lindsey Houghton said in the CFSEU release.  They did not find any fully built bombs.

"Also found in the searches were several compound bows, a crossbow, brass knuckles, two semi-automatic assault-style rifles with over-capacity magazines, as well as a small amount of marijuana," Houghton added.

The individual involved will be named when he is charged, which is expected to take place at the Kelowna courthouse, Houghton has confirmed.

In the meantime, he has been transferred to Alberta on an unrelated criminal matter. The suspect has a lengthy record and is already bound by a prohibition order involving explosive materials, devices and weapons.

The new charges police are now be considering include possession of an explosive substance, firearms and controlled substance-related charges.

While investigators are yet to determine a motive, they are probing the extent of his connections to gang activity. They do not know if any devices made by this man have been used in criminal acts, the release states.

"This investigation is not in any way associated to national security and there is absolutely no indication or information to support that the investigation has any links to terrorism or extremism," Houghton concludes in the release.

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