Winnipeg police said officers seized multiple guns, including an assault rifle, along with meth and other drugs in two separate incidents within the last week.

“Anecdotally speaking, our officers are facing these trends and these incidents daily,” said Insp. Max Waddell, who serves as commander of the division that oversees the Winnipeg Police Service street crimes unit.

“And it is a direct correlation between the illicit drug trade, specifically methamphetamine, and the use of violence,” Waddell said. “Drug dealers choose weapons to not only protect their drugs, but also protect themselves from other individuals who perhaps want to do a drug rip or steal their product.”

The first seizure happened on Aug. 23, when police armed with a warrant for drugs raided a residence in the 500 block of Cathedral Avenue and removed eight adults from the home.

The second happened on Aug. 25, when officers used a firearms search warrant to gain access to a residence in the 100 block of Jefferson Avenue.

On Cathedral Avenue, police seized estimated $300 worth of meth, $900 worth of Percocet, Xanax pills and three rifles, one of which was an SKS assault rifle with a 60 round magazine.

“We’re talking a gun that can do serious damage, with a very large round,” said Waddell. “It’s a real concern not only for police but for any members that are dealing in this trade.”

Police also seized a money counting machine, $560 CAD, scales, packaging materials and ammunition on Cathedral. A 43 and a 44-year-old were arrested and charged, along with a 31-year-old who had two outstanding warrants out for her arrest.

While carrying out the investigation on Jefferson, police stopped a vehicle believed to be connected in the 1600 block of Main Street and located a sawed off rifle, two air-soft pistols, meth and prescription drugs.

Police said two men and a woman who were in the vehicle were arrested and face drugs and weapons charges.

Another man was arrested in front of the residence on Jefferson, and police seized an unloaded rifle, soft body armour and ammunition. He faces charges for weapons and for possession of body armour without a permit.

Police said the investigations are ongoing, and couldn’t rule out the possibility that any of the weapons had been used in crime.

“There may be linkages to these firearms to other matters that are currently being investigated,” said Waddell.