Toronto police went through a popular gunsmith’s workshop in Simcoe, Ont., after pistols registered beneath his title had been discovered with their serial numbers removed at two separate crime scenes, in line with seek warrant files obtained by CBC Information.
The 33-page Knowledge to acquire (ITO) document used to be used to get the search warrant approved by a pass judgement on or justice of the peace, and offers more information about the proof police had before the quest of Rodger Kotanko’s workshop.
Kotanko’s circle of relatives deny the allegations within the ITO.
They also recently filed a $23-million civil lawsuit towards five “John Doe” officers, Insp. Norman Proctor, police Leader James Ramer and the Toronto Police Services And Products Board, alleging the “illegal” raid led to the gunsmith’s “wrongful demise” on Nov. THREE.
Those claims haven’t been confirmed in court docket. Simcoe Awesome Courtroom said Tuesday that no remark of defence has been filed.
Guns in Toronto, North Bay associated with Kotanko: police
The ITO says Kotanko used to be an authorized gunsmith for many years, and was allowed to have restricted and prohibited firearms.
It says he owned D.A.R.K. Global Trading Co. Inc., which imports guns and gun portions, and R.K. Customized Weapons, which provides gunsmithing and gun deactivation.
His record with the RCMP was over 1,000 pages long, in step with the ITO.
In March 2009, the file says, Kotanko notified the Ontario Chief Firearms Office and legally imported 25 Norinco 1911A1 pistol frames. He registered new serial numbers for them, starting from RKC001 through RKC025, and would flip those gun frames into working guns, the file stated.
When police had been applying for the warrant, 14 of these frames have been still listed as being at Kotanko’s belongings, according to the ITO.
The document says that on Aug. 30, 2021, police saw a reportedly stolen white Mercedes C3G crash whilst trying to race any other vehicle.
Kotanko’s house on Port Ryerse Street sits left to his workshop, the place he did his work as a gunsmith. His circle of relatives’s lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, stated Kotanko did paintings for local police, the army and international shoppers. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)
The Motive Force tried to run away, but police arrested the person, who could have been regarded as a young culprit. The report says that while searching the auto, Toronto police found a loaded Norinco 1911A1 with an “obliterated” serial number.
The ITO provides that on Oct. 10, police investigating a possible kidnapping in North Bay found another loaded Norinco 1911A1 with a destroyed serial number after pulling over a Nissan with 3 Toronto men inside.
The document notes police said the aspect marking, make, fashion and serial numbers on each weapons were not “just filed off as observed within the majority of got rid of serial numbers.”
“This was done in an excellent and what gave the impression to be professional means,” read the ITO, noting it will were the work of a milling system.
While police recovered the serial numbers of the two guns, they were RKC004 and RKC014. An RK Custom engraving on the facet of both guns was additionally got rid of, police say.
The door into Kotanko’s workshop has been closed off as a result of an SIU investigation. The research is about to finish in a few month. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)
The ITO says Ontario Leader Firearms Office files confirmed the ones two weapons have been registered to Kotanko and had been supposed to still be stored at his gunsmithing workshop.
Police allege Kotanko illegally transferred the guns to someone else and removed the serial numbers himself.
The record also states there have been no experiences of loss, theft, or a break and input at Kotanko’s workshop.
“i can call to mind few individuals who would have an pastime in cast off ‘RK Customized’ from the slide of a firearm getting into the felony marketplace than the owner and individual responsible for storing that fireplace arm, which in this case is Rodger Kotanko,” reads the ITO.
Renowned gunsmith killed in Toronto police raid. Circle Of Relatives, mavens wish to recognize why
The ITO also mentioned Kotanko was convicted in 1970 for possessing a narcotic for the needs of trafficking and ownership of a limited, unregistered firearm. He was once sentenced to 9 months in custody, in step with the report.
Police stated they wanted to to find evidence to prove the offence — akin to like registration certificates, magazines, proprietor’s manuals, transfer documents and different guns — that could have equivalent milling marks.
His phone can also supply proof, the ITO says.
Kotanko’s family denies allegations
Kotanko’s circle of relatives and their attorney, Michael Smitiuch, deny the allegations.
Smitiuch up to now instructed CBC Hamilton that Kotanko handed the Ontario Leader Firearms Place Of Work’s inspections and wouldn’t holiday the regulation.
He added that if Kotanko did attempt to holiday the law, he would have been knowledgable sufficient to understand a milling machine would not be sufficient to remove the serial number.
Smitiuch prior to now mentioned Kotanko had a log book with all of his data and transactions, and that might prove his innocence — however they couldn’t get admission to it as a result of Toronto police nonetheless had it.
a photograph of Kotanko and his wife, Jessie, is held by Kotanko’s son Conner. The family’s attorney, Michael Smitiuch, stands in front. The family has filed a $23-million civil lawsuit towards Toronto police. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)
Smitiuch and the circle of relatives additionally mentioned the convictions from 1970 had been irrelevant and prejudicial as a result of Kotanko still handed all of the common inspections.
They described the gun associated with that previous conviction as a flintlock pistol similar to what will also be noticed in Pirates of the Caribbean and stated the gun didn’t take any bullets.
they also said Kotanko never dealt medication, yet the rate says there was rationale of trafficking because of the volume of hashish he had.
SIU research supposed to end in March
The questions the ITO does not solution are why police decided to method the location the best way they did — and if there may just were a better means.
Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is still investigating what took place related to the gunsmith’s loss of life, and Toronto police have their own interior research underway.
The police watchdog has a mandate to finish an investigation in A HUNDRED AND TWENTY days. that suggests the investigation have to be done in a few month.
While it’s over, the SIU director will liberate a public file about the findings only if there are no grounds to rate police with a criminal offense.
If the officer who shot Kotanko is charged, the problem can be ahead of the courts, which might likely stall the civil lawsuit.