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Murder-conspiracy trial hears of weapons found in home near blockade at Coutts, Alta.

A truck convoy blocks the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Feb. 2, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh A truck convoy blocks the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Feb. 2, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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An RCMP officer testified Friday that rifles, body armour and buckets full of ammunition were found in a modular home near the border blockade at Coutts, Alta.

Const. Daniel Sauve, who was tasked with collecting evidence, said two rifles were found in the home in the village during an early morning police raid in February 2022.

The guns were inside a soft carrying case in a closet, he said, and cans of ammunition and boxes of shotgun shells were found throughout the home.

"Members who were searching would let me know if they found something. They would tell me where," Sauve told the jury.

"I would document it in my ledger — where they found it, who found it — and I would seize the exhibit."

Chris Carbert and Anthony Olienick are on trial charged with conspiracy to commit murder of police officers.

They were arrested after police raided the home and travel trailers on private property near the blockade over COVID-19 rules and vaccine mandates. The protest paralyzed traffic at the busy Canada-U.S. border crossing for two weeks.

Sauve was shown photos of evidence seized from the mobile home, which also included body armour, a bandolier containing shotgun shells, and a pistol holder.

He held up some seized items inside plastic bags as they were added as exhibits — a brown pistol belt with two magazines, a camouflage backpack, a grey tactical vest with the word "infidel" and an American flag.

Sauve also gathered evidence from one of the trailers, where assault-style rifles, a shotgun, a pistol, ammunition and body armour were discovered. There was also a firearms licence in Carbert's name.

"Where was that found?" asked Crown prosecutor Aaron Rankin.

"In a wallet on the master bed of the Bullet trailer."

During cross-examination, Olienick's lawyer, Marilyn Burns, pointed out that a .308-calibre Spectre rifle was seized but no matching ammunition. She also questioned how some police photos were set up, including one with a .22-calibre rifle next to .223-calibre ammunition.

"I'm suggesting that these photographs were staged for effect. Were you there when the items were moved?" Burns asked.

"I was not involved in any staging of any exhibit," Sauve said.

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.

The jury was set to resume hearing evidence Monday. The judge has said the trial is likely to run until mid-July.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 21, 2024.

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