Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta arrested 11 people involved in the Freedom Convoy currently blocking the border crossing between Sweetgrass, Montana and Coutts, Alberta after a ramming incident involving a semi and a large farm tractor targeting an RCMP vehicle.
Update Tuesday, February 15, 2022 9:45 a.m. EST - One of the organizers of the Coutts blockade told CBC that their protest was infiltrated by extremists and that, due to these arrests, protesters are now planning to leave peacefully and return to their families. RCMP told the outlet that some vehicles have left the area as of Tuesday morning.
On Sunday, police handed out 53 provincial tickets and disabled three large excavators to prevent them from being used in the blockade. That night, an RCMP officer was able to avoid being hit by the two large vehicles involved in the protest. Mounties followed the two suspects to a gathering of other protesters. After searching three trucks, RCMP officers arrested 13 people in what they called in a press release “...an immediate and complex investigation to determine the extent of the threat and criminal organization.”
Here’s a list of what Mounties seized at the border today, according to CTVNews Calgary:
During the execution of the search warrants, police said the following items were seized:
- 13 long guns;
- Multiple sets of body armour;
- A machete;
- A large quantity of ammunition; and
- High capacity magazines.
While the vehicles involved in the attempted ramming have been seized, RCMP have identified the driver of the tractor and are looking for him to take him into custody. Considering he helped lead the feds directly to his fellow conspirators’ weapons cache and meeting place, I’m sure the Mounties aren’t the only ones looking to chat with the unnamed tractor driver.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told reporters at a Monday morning press conference that law enforcement would continue to ramp up at the border crossing. And now, the providence will be able to haul away the more stubborn protesters:
Kenney said the province has successfully procured the necessary heavy equipment to assist police in removing vehicles blocking the highways.
“Throughout all of this, it’s important to underscore that traffic across the Alberta/Montana border has operated largely unimpeded because we have six ports of entry between Alberta and Montana, five of which have continued to operate according to either normal or extended hours,” Kenney said.
“My message to those still involved in the blockade at Coutts is that you know you have not closed the border, all you’ve done is to inconvenience thousands and thousands of hardworking truckers who have been trying to do their job and make a living, forcing them to drive longer distances for no point.
“The ongoing blockade of our borders and our highways at Coutts will no longer be tolerated.
While there are other crossings between Montana and Alberta, the Coutts-Sweetwater crossing was one of the only ones able to handle livestock. Service at the Coutts border crossing has been spotty during the last two weeks of protest, with protesters blocking lanes or closing the crossing altogether. The Freedom Convoy also closed down the Ambassador Bridge for a week. That closure finally ended late Sunday.