Alberta RCMP charge 3 more people in relation to Coutts border blockade

A truck convoy of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate demonstrators continue to block the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Mounties have laid further charges in relation to the Coutts, Alta. border protest earlier this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Mounties have laid further charges in connection with the Coutts, Alta., border protest earlier this year.

The protest was sparked after the federal government lifted quarantine exemptions for truck drivers, paralyzing the U.S. border at Coutts for more than two weeks in late January.

Police said Marco Van Huigenbos, 32, and Alex Van Herk, 53, both from Fort Macleod, were charged with mischief over $5,000. Huigenbos is a councillor in Fort Macleod.

Gerhard (George) Janzen, 43, from Taber, was also charged with mischief over $5,000.

“These charges stem from these individuals being key participants of the Coutts border blockade that took place between Jan. 29 to Feb. 15, 2022,” said an Alberta RCMP news release on Friday morning.

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All three have been released and are scheduled to appear in Lethbridge Provincial Court on Oct. 4.

The RCMP also said they have withdrawn charges laid against two men.

Over a dozen weapon and mischief charges have been laid in relation to the Coutts border protest to date.

Four men — Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin — were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder after a Feb. 14 RCMP raid found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers near the protest site.

A judge and jury trial for the four men has been scheduled for June 12 to 30 next year.

–With files from The Canadian Press.

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