2 Ontario residents charged in Edmonton extortion investigation

The badge of the Edmonton Police Service. File/Global News

Police in Edmonton have charged two people from Ontario with extortion after a local man was allegedly threatened through a text messaging app.

The Edmonton Police Service received a report in February that an Edmonton man was receiving threatening text messages from an unknown third party. The messages demanded money and threatened the man’s life if he didn’t pay up, police said in a media release Friday.

Pictures of a firearm were also sent to the man. The messages also suggested the sender knew the man’s home address, police said.

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The EPS Cyber Crime Investigations Unit traced the messages and on March 19, Edmonton officers searched an address in Ancaster, Ont., with the assistance of the Hamilton Police Service.

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“Criminals think the distance and perceived anonymity of this type of crime will protect them, but despite their attempts to use technology to mask their location, we are still able to identify them and lay charges,” Det. Philip Hawkins with the EPS cyber crime unit said.

Saurel Brutus, 28, and Carolane Dussault, 26, are both charged with one count each of extortion with a firearm, fraud under $5,000 and unauthorized use of a computer.

The EPS Cyber Crime Investigations Unit was created in 2015 and now includes eight members. The EPS said this is the second time the unit has gone to another province to execute an arrest.

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