Court documents show Coutts border protest ‘was a fight’

New unsealed court documents reveal more details about the RCMP investigation that led to criminal charges, including attempted murder, during the border blockade in Coutts, Alta. in February.

The most serious charges have been brought 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 search warrant applications filed by police indicate that investigators believe the suspects have a powerful arsenal of weapons and are willing to use it.

The documents include notes and information from the uniformed RCMP, as well as undercover officers who broke into a pub in Coutts, where protesters gathered daily and nightly.

Two agents have the goal of finding out the hierarchy of the group.

In their notes, they wrote of a meeting with Olienick, one of the accused, who was not on the leadership team but claimed to be “security” for the protesters. He also called the protest a “revolution,” according to the notes.

“Olienick said they have a stockpile of hundreds of guns and thousands of ammunition and can equip everyone in the building to fight,” part of the application states. “Olienick said if the RCMP takes effect they will encounter a larger force and the RCMP is the enemy.”

“Olienick explained that ‘this is a war and he is willing to give up his life and so are the others…”, the note added.

Undercover officers also met with Carbert, according to their notes, which detailed a discussion between Carbert, Olienick, and officers about an incoming delivery, a hockey bag allegedly filled with weapons. .

“[Undercover operative] asked if the delivery was a gun. [Undercover officer] note that Carbert and Olienick looked at each other, nodded and smiled,” the note states. “This leads the police to believe that Olienick and his team are arming themselves against the police.”

The notes also show RCMP intercepted calls and text messages involving all four suspects. The apps detail part of a call between Morin and a woman on February 14, discussing how the RCMP damaged the equipment of protesters in the blockaded area.

“Morin said he would go back to ‘there’ [Coutts blockade area] and put a ‘f****** few slugs’ on their heads…,” the documents show.

Morin was arrested later that same day with two guns in his vehicle, according to police.

The day before, on February 13, members of the RCMP Emergency Response Team had seen Olienick alone near a pub and arrested him for mischief.

Lysak was arrested the same day, also near a pub, for allegedly making threats against a police officer.

The next day, officers searched a home and property in Coutts, arrested Carbert, and seized 15 guns, ammunition, and body armor.

The app also includes observations from the police that the protesters appear to have a financial committee and governance structure. They spoke to people they believed were leaders of the protest, but those names were removed from court documents.

The documents were sealed by a court when they were filed. Lawyers for several media outlets, including CTV News, argued in court to have them sealed. Defense attorneys for the defendant denied that application. A judge ruled on September 7 to unseal the files, with the transactions.

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