Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen of the Elk Valley RCMP reports that on July 9, 2023, the detachment was contacted by the Canada Border Service Agency at the Roosville Border crossing that a vehicle had failed to stop and report at the border. The vehicle, a blue Nissan Altima with California plates headed northbound into Canada. The vehicle had one occupant.
The vehicle was located by RCMP officers travelling east along Hwy 3 just past Elko, near the tunnel. Police attempted a traffic stop, but the driver fled.The officers pursued the vehicle for two kilometres before the driver stopped the car again.
Nielsen says that a “high risk take down” of the driver ensued. The highway shut down while this was going on and the driver was arrested without further incident.
The vehicle was searched and a loaded handgun found in the foot-well area of the driver’s seat.
The 37-year old, identified as Scott Panerio of Stockton, California, was taken to cells and eight Criminal Code offences were sworn against him, including flight from police, importing a firearm and unauthorized possession of a firearm, as well as contraventions of the Customs Act. He is being held for a bail hearing after being remanded to appear by video in Kamloops Provincial Court within seven days.
S/Sgt. Nielsen says Elk Valley RCMP believe this was a isolated incident and there is no further risk to the public.
The investigation is being supported by the RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement team and the Canadian Border Services Agency, and is ongoing at this time.