July 20th, 2024

‘No way’: Accused at Coutts blockade surprised by murder-conspiracy charge

By The Canadian Press on June 24, 2024.

Anti-mandate demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A protester arrested at the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., appeared surprised when police told him he was being charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

A video statement from Anthony Olienick after his arrest on Feb. 14, 2022, is being played at a jury trial.

After police tell him of the charge, Olienick replies, ‘No way!”

Olienick and co-accused Chris Carbert are charged with conspiring to kill Mounties at the blockade, which paralyzed traffic for two weeks at the busy Canada-U.S. border crossing.

The blockade was one of several protests held across the country over COVID-19 rules and vaccine mandates.

The men were arrested after Mounties found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers in Coutts.

Undercover officers previously testified that Olienick considered the blockade a war, and he expressed a hatred of police and a desire to kill officers.

Olienick and Carbert 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 24, 2024.

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