Whitehorse man gets 16 months for illegal weapons shop

One man has been sentenced and another is scheduled to enter a plea today on charges related to an illegal weapons manufacturing shop in Whitehorse that police allege was providing arms to drug dealers in British Columbia and the mainland U.S.

A Whitehorse man has been sentenced to 16 months in jail for his role with a weapons manufacturing shop that operated from his backyard.

On July 20, police executed a search warrant on a Northland Trailer Park home after receiving a tip.

They seized a cache of illegal weapons, including five assault rifles, two handguns, and firearm accessories such as silencers.

Whitehorse RCMP discovered a weapons manufacturing shop on the property. They allege the weapons were being trafficked to drug dealers in British Columbia and the mainland U.S.

Roommates Steven Rathburn and Dustin Mackie, both 40, were both charged with possession of a prohibited weapon and manufacturing of a firearm.

Rathburn confessed to his role in the operation after the police raid.

In his sentencing last month, Judge Peter Chisholm called it a "significant commercial operation."

Chisholm also acknowledged Rathburn has mental health issues and was just a minor player in the manufacturing shop, with no connection to the trafficking of the weapons.

With credit for time served, Rathburn has 10 months left on his jail sentence.

The co-accused, Dustin Mackie, remains in custody with a court appearance scheduled later today to enter a plea on weapons and trafficking charges.