Details of investigation into Coutts border protest revealed
Recently unsealed court documents have revealed more details about the RCMP investigation that led to criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, during the border blockade in Coutts, Alberta. in February.
The most serious charges were laid against four Alberta men: Christopher Lysak, 48, of Lethbridge; Anthony Olienick, 39, of Claresholm; Chris Carbert, 44, of Lethbridge; and Jerry Morin, 40, of Olds.
Four lengthy requests for search warrants, submitted by police, show investigators believed three of them, Olienick, Carbert and Morin, had brought weapons to the protest and were prepared to use them against officers.
The documents include notes and information from uniformed RCMP, as well as undercover officers who infiltrated a saloon in Coutts, where protesters gathered daily and nightly.
The two agents aimed to learn the hierarchy of the group.
In their notes, they spoke of a meeting with Olienick, one of the defendants, who was not part of the leadership group but called himself « security » for the protesters.
Undercover officers also noted that they had seen the delivery of a hockey bag, believed to be filled with firearms.
“I believe the subgroup was arming themselves for a confrontation with the police,” wrote the officer requesting one of the search warrants.
« I believe that Morin supplied firearms to Olienick and Carbert for the purpose of using those firearms to shoot and kill police officers, conspiring to commit murder against police officers, » they later wrote.
The notes also show that the RCMP used wiretaps, but what investigators heard or read is redacted.
The four men were arrested on February 13 and 14.
On February 14, officers searched a house and property in Coutts and seized 15 firearms, ammunition and body armor.
The request also includes police observations that the protesters appeared to have a finance committee and governance structure. They spoke to people they believed to be the leaders of the protest, but those names were removed from court documents.
The documents were sealed by a court when filed. Lawyers for several outlets, including CTV News, argued in court to unseal them. The defendant’s lawyers opposed this request.