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Four arrested for conspiracy to murder Canadian police at convoy border blockade

‘It could have been deadly for citizens, protesters and officers’

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 16 February 2022 17:56 GMT
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Four men have reportedly been taken into custody following a plot to kill members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The individuals were arrested by the RCMP after a two-week blockade of the Coutts border crossing with the US and Canada, which was closed by so-called “freedom convoy” protesters.

Chris Carbert, 44; Christopher Lysak, 48; Anthony Olienick, 39; and Jerry Morin, 40, were identified as the four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder against the RCMP, who are known as Mounties, on Tuesday.

The four men are from the Canadian province of Alberta, according to the Toronto Star.

They were thought to be among 13 individuals arrested along with weapons at the “freedom convoy” blockade in Coutts since the RCMP and Edmonton Police intervened on Monday.

The Mounties, a federal police unit, said two of the men were arrested on a highway with weapons on Tuesday. They were the 12th and 13th arrests to be associated with the closure of the Coutts crossing.

All four men face an additional charge for possessing weapons for a dangerous purpose. Mr Lysak, meanwhile, faces an additional charge for uttering threats, The Globe and Mail reported.

Police began their intervention following a tip-off about a cache of firearms and ammunition belonging to an “extremist” element who were stationed at Coutts, reports suggested.

“I can tell you that this threat was very serious,” said Southern Alberta RCMP chief superintendent Trevor Daroux at a Tuesday evening press conference.

His deputy commissioner, Curtis Zablocki, added that the earlier seizure of weapons from a small group of so called “freedom convoy” protesters was “dangerous” and “could have been deadly”.

“The dangerous criminal activity occurring away from the TV cameras and social-media posts was real and organised,” said Mr Zablocki.  “It could have been deadly for citizens, protesters and officers.”

A blockade organiser, Marco Van Huigenbos, told the Toronto Star that truckers agreed to end the Coutts protest after “the infiltration of extreme elements” and the arrests.

The RCMP confirmed on Tuesday that the Coutts border crossing had been opened and traffic was flowing, with Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau promising to end the nationwide protests against Covid restrictions with the use of the Emergencies Act.

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