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B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of Guns’ found guilty of possessing prohibited weapon, device

Defendant tried to “use subterfuge to avoid conviction” said judge in his decision
The Friesen case involved possession of brass knuckles. In this photo of an unrelated case, Red Deer RCMP seized handgun, a baton, a bat, brass knuckles, a hammer, and three knives. (Red Deer RCMP photo)

Bradley Michael Friesen of Hope was found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon, and possession of a prohibited device in Chilliwack provincial court Thursday.

Friesen, once dubbed the “Dr. Frankenstein of Guns” was found guilty on two of five charges he was facing including possession of firearm silencers, and brass knuckles, importation of silencer kits, as well as possession of nunchakus.

RELATED: B.C.’s Dr. Frankenstein of Guns on trial

Judge Gary Cohen found Friesen guilty of counts one and two in his oral decision, which were for possessing silencers, which he referred to as firearm “suppressors,” as well as the brass knuckles.

Friesen testified during the trial that they were not brass knuckles. He called them “a handle for a slingshot.”

“The court finds this was a clear case of the defendant attempting to use subterfuge to avoid a conviction,” Cohen stated. “Anyone who looked at these brass knuckles, even a lay person with little experience, would immediately say that they are brass knuckles.”

The judge noted that the prosecution had even shown the court an ad for similar devices which made it clear that calling it “a slingshot” was a marketing ploy to sell brass knuckles.

On the question of the working silencers, Cohen said the defendant had admitted to owning them, and that they were found in his possession. The investigating officer who examined it said it was “a complete and functional suppressor, readily adaptable for most calibres.”

Friesen’s evidence at trial was that these specific suppressors were for “toy air rifles, not for real firearms” which could, in certain circumstances, be argued as reasonable, Cohen said.

“However that is not the case with this defendant,” the judge continued. “This defendant has faced charges of manufacturing weapons, and he has admitted to having a specialized level of arms and arms-silencer knowledge. So the defendant knew he had functional suppressors.”

On the charge of importation of the silencers had “all elements proven beyond a reasonable doubt” except for the identity, so the judge did not find Friesen guilty on that charge.

The eight-day trial started May 5 in Chilliwack provincial court which saw Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) witnesses for the Crown.

Friesen was out on parole for trafficking in handgun parts in October 2019 when a CBSA officer testified he intercepted packages containing silencers at Vancouver International Airport with a mailing address in Hope. CBSA agents intercepted three separate packages containing the prohibited devices, addressed to a Tyler Bamton, but with the defendant’s phone number attached.

On Nov. 14, 2019, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-BC (CFSEU-BC), assisted by CBSA and Hope RCMP, arrested Friesen on a number of firearms-related offences and conducted a search warrant of his residence.

Friesen had been charged with importing and selling silencers and other handgun parts in the past.

He had been on parole and was on a lifetime prohibition for firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited weapons, prohibited devices and prohibited ammunition from a 2001 conviction when he was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2014.

-with files from Paul Henderson and Matthew Claxton

RELATED: Friesen sued someone from prison

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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