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Smuggler hides Glock in VCR, tries to mail it from Bellingham to Canada

BELLINGHAM — A Canadian gun smuggler has pleaded guilty to hiding a Glock in a video player and trying to mail it from Bellingham to Surrey, B.C.

Ravinder Singh Toor, 21, of Delta, faces up to three years and ten months in prison, according to a plea deal approved Monday, Oct. 21.

In spring of this year Canadian authorities told U.S. federal agents they suspected Toor of smuggling drugs and guns across the border into Canada.

So on the afternoon of May 29, Toor and his black Acura got stopped for a secondary inspection at a border crossing in Blaine. He told U.S. Customs officers he planned to shop at Bellis Fair mall with his sister and a female cousin, who were with him. Eventually, they were let go. But federal agents kept a close eye on Toor that afternoon.

According to charging papers:

—Toor dropped off the women at the mall. He hopped out too, and lingered inside — briefly — then got back into the Acura and drove to an auto shop on Hannegan Road. He left the building carrying a small black gun case.

—Toor drove to an electronics store on Meridian Street, where he picked up a "VCR-type device." (It's never clarified, in charging papers, if it really was a VCR.) He spent more than 10 minutes in the car fiddling with it. Across the street, at a UPS store, he got a red box, took it to his car, taped the corners of the player with packing tape and shoved the device into the box. Then he walked back into the store to mail the package to an address on 120th Street in Surrey. He gave a Seattle return address.

—Toor dumped the lock box and three empty .40-caliber magazines in a nearby garbage can. Investigators with U.S. Homeland Security nabbed the package -- which had been labled as a "radio" -- before it got to Canada. Inside they found a Glock and more empty magazines hidden in the "VCR-type device." Fasteners had been taken off the electronic device. It was held together with packing tape.

—Agents questioned Toor on his way back into Canada. He eventually admitted he obtained "a weapon" in the United States. Then he said he wanted to talk with an attorney.

His guilty plea, to a single count of smuggling firearms, was accepted Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. A statement of facts in the plea paperwork says Toor bought five guns on four separate days: Feb. 26, March 10, May 9 and May 29. Each time he tried to send the gun or guns to Canada in a disguised package, according to court records.

Prosecutors suggested a sentence of up to three years and 10 months. He has not been formally sentenced.