Illegal weapons maker gets 16 months

A man who helped make illegal firearms in Whitehorse was sentenced to 16 months in jail last Wednesday.

A man who helped make illegal firearms in Whitehorse was sentenced to 16 months in jail last Wednesday.

Steven Troy Rathburn, 40, pleaded guilty to the possession of stolen property and to possessing prohibited and restricted weapons.

On July 20, RCMP searched Rathburn’s home and seized two rifles, one 9-mm handgun and a cache of 12 other prohibited and restricted weapons. They also found weapons schematics, a “substantial” amount of ammunition, pistol and rifle assemblies, body armour plates, an armoured face mask, silencers, flash suppressors and other weapons’ parts, according to court records.

In the investigation, police determined that Rathburn had been working with his roommate, who is not identified in court documents, and that the roommate was the principal player in the procurement of parts and trafficking of the weapons.

Rathburn only assisted in the manufacturing. The roommate is also facing charges.

Rathburn has no prior criminal history. He suffered a psychotic episode in 1998 and another in “severe” episode in 2004 that led to his being diagnosed with schizophrenia, court records show.

Prosecutors noted that Rathburn had been “significantly helpful” to police after the first search of his home.

With credit for time served, Rathburn still has 11 months behind bars and a year of probation after he is released.

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