Man accused of pretending to be military veteran faces new charges: firearms training fraud

·2 min read
Police say these items were seized from Bradley Bell's home in 2021. He is accused once again of running fraudulent training courses out of his home and posing as a military veteran. (Calgary Police Service - image credit)
Police say these items were seized from Bradley Bell's home in 2021. He is accused once again of running fraudulent training courses out of his home and posing as a military veteran. (Calgary Police Service - image credit)

A Calgary man who is already before the courts — accused of pretending to be an ex-military officer and running survivalist training courses out of his home — has been re-arrested and charged with fraud for allegedly running more fraudulent courses, this time in firearms certification.

Bradley Keith Bell, 36, faces several new charges: fraud over $5,000 and four counts of failing to comply with a release order.

Bell was on bail as he awaited trial on 11 charges, including unlawful use of military uniforms, possession of a firearm while unauthorized, careless use of a firearm, possession of stolen property and possession of body armour.

A trial on the older charges is set to begin Oct. 31.

Victims believed instructor was certified 

Police charged Bell after a six-month investigation earlier this year. He is once again accused of offering private training to "several victims" while posing as a military veteran.

According to the Calgary Police Service, the victims believed they were registering for a Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence (RPAL) course with a certified instructor.

Bell is accused of providing instruction, literature and a final Canadian Firearms Safety exam to his victims as part of their certification.

Those who registered for the course paid Bell, according to police. They also provided their personal information, including photos.

Bell does not have a firearms licence and is not an instructor, so the victims were never certified, police said in a release.

'A risk to the public'

On Aug. 31, police executed a search warrant on Bell's northwest home.

Officers seized ammunition, documentation associated with several RPAL applications, photographs and personal information belonging to the victims, according to CPS.

Police are asking anyone who may have been a victim of this type of falsified training to come forward.

"This type of fraudulent firearms training poses a risk to the public, and we are thankful through our investigations we were able to stop this individual from deceiving more victims," said Sgt. Steve Lynch from CPS's firearms team.

Bell was initially charged in July 2021, accused of operating firearms training, survival training and a women's self-defence company, Sheep Dog Enterprises, out of his home.

Bell joined veterans' support groups, police say

At the time, police said Bell had posed as an ex-military member and provided survivalist training under false credentials.

Bell "had not been involved in the military at any point," police said.

Bell was accused of falsified documentation, and police believed he "deceived his way into veterans' and law enforcement support groups."

"We are still working to understand why Mr. Bell went to such lengths to represent himself as an ex-member of the Canadian military," Sgt. Ben Lawson said at the time.

Bell is currently in custody.