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'Run and gun': Undercover officer says accused at Coutts spoke of killing police

Demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Jan. 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., on Jan. 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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An undercover police officer told court Anthony Olienick had characterized Mounties as the “arms” of Canada’s “devil” prime minister and, if police tried to break up the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., he would kill them all.

“(He said) this was his destiny and the war he was supposed to fight in," the officer testified Wednesday.

"He once again said that he knows he's going to die for this fight. 

“Then he said he wants to kill them all.

"If they come into Coutts, he said that he will slit their throats."

Olienick and Chris Carbert are on trial in Lethbridge, Alta., charged with conspiring to murder police officers at the blockade.

The blockade ran for two weeks in early 2022, tying up traffic at the busy Canada-United States border crossing for two weeks to protest COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.

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

The undercover officer can be identified only as HQ1298 to protect her safety. Members of the public and media were cleared from the courtroom during her testimony but were allowed to listen in from a separate room.

The officer testified about how she infiltrated the Coutts protest, posing as a volunteer, and talked with Olienick.

Olienick, she said, expected the “devil’s arms” would make sure he didn’t survive the blockade.

He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the devil and the RCMP were his limbs, the officer told the trial.

She became emotional during her testimony, prompting Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston to intervene.

"You're upset? Why?" he asked.

"Because you don't want anyone to get hurt," the officer replied.

"How did you steel yourself when you heard (the threats)?" Johnston asked.

"At that point, you're just doing a job. So you have to stay composed," the officer said.

"Afterwards, it's a little bit harder. In hindsight, it was upsetting."

She said the conversation with Olienick moved to what would happen if police descended on Coutts.

"He said he's got some things. He can teach us how to shoot, and then he said sort of to stick with him because, 'I'm just going to run and gun.'"

The officer last saw Olienick on Feb. 13, 2022. He was angry and upset, saying RCMP had sabotaged some heavy equipment near the highway, said the officer.

After informing her superior about the movements of Olienick and Carbert, she said she was told to leave the area.

Hours later, police descended in an early morning raid.

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.

In earlier testimony Tuesday, the officer said Olienick told her he was all in on the blockade.

"He said he had been there since Day 1 and he had sold his house and his vehicles so he could be part of the revolution," she testified. 

“He also told me that they had stockpiled hundreds of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition and had the ability to outfit every man in Smuggler’s."

Smuggler’s Saloon was a Coutts bar that became the unofficial headquarters of the protesters.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2024.

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