Prairie Post (East Edition)
Coutts protesters released on bail, five still in custody
A 23-year-old Raymond man arrested with 12 others during the blockade at the Coutts border, has been released from custody and ordered to stay away from any more protests.
Evan Colenutt was released on $1,000 bail following a brief hearing in Lethbridge provincial court Feb. 18. He is prohibited from going within 200 metres of a protest or public protest event; from going further south than Milk River; from having any contact with the other accused; and from possessing weapons. He must also report by phone to a bail supervisor after his release, and live in the Town of Raymond, south of Lethbridge.
Colenutt, who is charged with mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, was remanded at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre with four others, who must remain in custody until their lawyers can schedule bail hearings in Court of Queen’s Bench.
Chris Carbert, 44, Christopher Lysak, 48, Anthony Olienick, 39, and Jerry Morin, 40, also face charges of mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, plus a charge of conspiracy to murder. Their lawyers appeared in court and adjourned their matters to March 15 to allow them time to receive disclosure from the Crown’s office and schedule bail in the higher court.
Seven other accused were released on bail Tuesday and had their matters adjourned to March 15. Ursula Allred, 22, of Magrath; Johnson Chichow Law, 39, of Calgary; Justin Martin, 22, of Raymond; Eastin Stewart Oler, 22, of Raymond; Joanne Person, 62, of Coutts; Janx Zaremba, 18, of Raymond; and Luke Berk, 62, of Red Deer, are charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief. A 13th individual, Jaclyne Martin, 39, faces Mischief Over $5,000. She has yet to make a court appearance.
RCMP reported they arrested the individuals Monday during the protest at the Coutts border, after becoming aware of a cache of firearms and ammunition. A blockade of trucks and vehicles has been at the crossing since Jan. 29, but protestors began dispersing Tuesday in response to the discovery of weapons.
“The development with weapons and the personal armour was not associated with us, and to keep that distance we decided to leave peacefully,” said Marco Van Huigenbos, one of the protest organizers.
Police said they believed a small organized group within the protest was willing to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade. During the early-morning raid, police uncovered 13 long guns, as well as handguns, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition and body armour. Two additional weapons were seized later in the day.
The accused who were released on bail are required to abide by several conditions, including a promise to pay $2,000 if they breach any of the conditions. They must not contact each other, or go within 200 metres of any protests or protest events, and, with the exception of Person, they can’t be south of Milk River. They are not to possess any weapons and they must reside at specific addresses. Oler, Allred, Law and Zaremba were granted permission to live in Calgary, while Berk will reside in Red Deer, Martin in Turner Valley, and Person in Coutts.