July 20th, 2024

‘Hill he’s prepared to die on’: Second undercover officer at Coutts conspiracy trial

By The Canadian Press on June 14, 2024.

Anti-mandate demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. A second RCMP officer who went undercover as a supporter at the Coutts, Alta., blockade in 2022 has testified that one of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder said all police officers at the blockade "should be hung." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A second RCMP officer who went undercover as a supporter at the 2022 blockade in Coutts, Alta., has testified that one of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder said all police officers at the blockade “should be hung.”

Known only as HQ1516 to protect her identity, she is the second undercover officer to testify at the trial of Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert.

She told the court she has been doing this kind of work since 2015 and has been involved in more than 100 operations.

The officer and her partner met Olienick at Smuggler’s Saloon in Coutts on Feb. 9, 2022, bringing perogies in a show of support for the blockade.

She said Olienick was friendly but also angry that some of his friends were being “intimidated” by the RCMP and not being allowed in through another checkpoint.

“He didn’t like any cops even though they tried to talk nice. He didn’t care that they were doing their job. They should all be hung,” she said.

“To me it was like disdain for the police or disgust for the police, which was a little bit shocking obviously being a police officer standing right in front of him.”

Olienick and Carbert are on trial in Court of King’s Bench on charges related to the blockade, which snarled traffic at the Canada-U.S. border at Coutts for two weeks to protest COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.

The officer said she and her partner were given scenarios each day to try to find out information as part of the investigation. She said that included determining the leadership, the possible location of weapons and a floor plan of the saloon.

Olienick started talking about a “Plan B” that he would put in place if police attempted to move in on the protesters, she said.

“That he had firearms stockpiled and thousands of rounds of ammo and could have everybody in there equipped,” she said.

The operative said Olienick was also fearful that police would move in when protester numbers were down in the middle of week or in the middle of the night.

“Members were going to come in between 3 and 5 in the morning when everybody was sleeping and they didn’t have comms to get everyone out to fight,” she said.

“He did talk about having a satellite phone and having lots of military support outside that would rush in and smash through police vehicles and he said this is a hill he’s prepared to die on and lots of them were.”

The five-man, nine-woman jury is to hear more testimony on Friday.

Olienick and Carbert were arrested after Mounties found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers in the area.

The two are also charged with mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Olienick faces a further charge of being in possession of a pipe bomb.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2024.

— by Bill Graveland in Calgary

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