10 years jail for hiding restricted firearms in Surrey apartment

Prolific offender Dean Wiwchar already in custody, accused in 2012 Ontario murder.

It was April 2012 when police searched a Surrey apartment and found ammunition and 14 firearms – including pistols, rifles and an Uzi sub-machine gun – inside a living room ottoman.

Dean Wiwchar and Phillip Juan Ley, who lived elsewhere but were the only occupants of the apartment, were both charged with numerous firearms offences. Ley pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of firearms and was sentenced.

Wiwchar, 30, was convicted in June on nine counts and was sentenced earlier this week (Sept. 21) in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

The restricted firearms found in the Surrey apartment included: a Sig Sauer, Colt, Ruger and Norinco pistol and a .44 Magnum handgun. the prohibited firearms included: an H & K semi-automatic pistol, a .38 calibre pistol, an Uzi sub-machine gun, a Romanian rifle, and a Taurus pistol.

Police also found two more firearms in his Vancouver apartment a month later.

In the Sept. 21 sentencing decision, Justice Gregory Bowden called the weapons offences “grave,” ruling Wiwchar should spend 10 years in jail.

“The fact that the Surrey apartment was a safe-house together with the suspicious activity of Mr. Wiwchar in coming to and going from that apartment strongly suggests an aura of criminality around the possession of the firearms at that location,” said Bowden. “At his Vancouver residence, Mr. Wiwchar had a loaded restricted handgun readily available in his bedroom closet.”

Crown had recommended a 13- to 15-year sentence for the firearms convictions, while Wiwchar’s lawyer suggested seven years was appropriate.

Wiwchar is currently in custody, accused in a 2012 murder in Ontario for which he’s scheduled to be tried next year.

The court documents indicate Wiwchar is originally from Ontario and has a lengthy criminal record that began when he was a youth. His past convictions include several of aggravated assault, robbery, assaulting peace officers, assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.

A five-and-a-half month period between January and June 2012 was the only stretch of freedom in his adult life, says the court papers, during which he committed the firearms offences.

Wiwchar is already subject to a lifetime firearms prohibition in connection with an aggravated assault he committed while in custody.


Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Suspected drugs, counterfeit cash seized during distracted driving stop: Surrey RCMP

Police said incident happened near 152nd Street and Fraser Highway

Fate of five-district policing model in Surrey rests with new police board

Whalley/City Centre, Guildford/Fleetwood, Newton, Cloverdale, and South Surrey districts formed under McCallum’s watch in 1998

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read