June 22nd, 2024

Undercover officer testifies at murder-conspiracy trial around Coutts, Alta. blockade

By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press on June 11, 2024.

A jury is set to return today to hear evidence in the trial of two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the 2022 border blockade at Coutts, Alta. A city employees walks over words of support chalked on the sidewalk outside the courthouse as the trial for two men charged with conspiracy to commit murder during the border protest at Coutts, Alta., gets underway in Lethbridge, Alta., Thursday, June 6, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A female undercover officer who infiltrated the 2022 border blockade at Coutts, Alta., told court the job is surveillance and interdiction, but seduction is not a tool of the trade.

“You’re not allowed to use your sexuality or have anyone else use their sexuality at all during the course of the investigation. It’s a non-issue,” the officer testified Tuesday in response to questions from a Crown prosecutor.

“We shut them down right away.

“We’ll quite often use (stories that we have) boyfriends or will be same-sex oriented – something that will take that off the table, so that it never really enters into the equation.”

Anthony Olienick and Chris Carbert are on trial charged with conspiring to murder police officers at the blockade, a protest of COVID-19 rules that paralyzed traffic at the Canada-U.S. border in southern Alberta for two weeks.

The officer, who cannot be identified, was referred to as HQ1298. Media were moved to a separate room but allowed to listen in.

The officer told the trial she has been working undercover for two decades in projects across the country but mainly in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

She said she has been trained on domestic terrorism and crime techniques, and how to memorize quotes, faces and descriptions.

“You memorize it in your head. You play it over and over, so you don’t forget and you can repeat it. Lots of times I’ll play it over,” she said.

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

They 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.

It was the second day the jury heard evidence. After opening arguments on Thursday, the trial was bogged down in legal arguments that can’t be immediately reported because of a publication ban.

“Don’t speculate about the reasons for the delay,” Justice David Labrenz told the jury. “There’s good reason for it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2024.

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Where was her cover team. UC ‘s don’t operate without one.

Ben Matlock

And your point is?

Ben Matlock

“Seduction is not a tool of the trade.” Really, that’s the lead on this story? That’s pathetic reporting.

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