OTTAWA — Customs agents have charged a 42-year-old California man who they say tried to smuggle more than 100 weapons into the country, including a selection of vicious, cruel and unorthodox arms that would make Batman blush.
Or at the very least sue for copyright infringement.
Razor-sharp Batarang-type throwing knives shaped like the Caped Crusader’s blades were among the 116 weapons the Canadian Border Services Agency says it discovered in a shipment of the man’s furniture on May 11. He was moving to Ottawa to join his wife, said CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey.
Agents also seized a pair of brass-knuckle-like grips with three 12-inch curved blades that closely resemble the prosthetic blades of comic-book character Wolverine.
In a nod to the classics, there was also a cane with an ornate handle that separated into a short sword.
Kealey said he was intrigued by a belt buckle that concealed about three keen, square blades, suitable for throwing. They each had one dull edge, making them useful for hand-to-hand combat as well.
And, perhaps in an ode to Spider-Man, there was a red spider necklace that harboured a vicious sting — a two-inch plunge-knife in the arachnid pendant.
Agents also found more conventional fare, such as assault rifles and handguns.
The OPP and the Ottawa police guns and gangs unit assisted CBSA in cataloguing and identifying the collection, Kealey said. The man is not believed to be affiliated with street gangs or arms dealing.
The suspect’s own declaration sealed his fate, Kealey said.
His furniture had arrived in Canada separately and was being held in bond at a warehouse pending CBSA inspection.
The man declared two pellet guns and a pistol that he kept “for display purposes,” Kealey said. CBSA regulations required the agents to inspect the pistol to ensure it couldn’t be fired.
Once inside the warehouse, agents found a box of Chinese throwing stars as well as dagger and plunge knives, which also should have been declared, Kealey said.
A sniffer dog trained to find gunpowder residue nosed out an empty gun box, leading agents to wonder where the gun was.
“Then they start to find the concealed stuff,” Kealey said.
Agents found weapons after separating wall units that had been glued together, and then wrapped. Weapons also emerged from a futon and a small antique clock. “He went to some lengths to conceal those weapons,” Kealey said.
The man has applied to stay in Canada, Kealey said.
Robert Frost is charged under the Customs Act with failing to report goods, making false statements and smuggling. He also faces two Criminal Code charges for importation of controlled or prohibited weapons.
Frost is to appear in court today.