‘Freedom Convoy’ Suspects Charged With Plan to Kill Cops Linked to Anti-Government Group

Two of the four men arrested at an Alberta blockade and accused of conspiring to kill cops were part of an anti-government group.
The cache of weapons seized. Photo via RCMP.

Two of four men charged for allegedly plotting to kill cops if they disrupted a trucker border blockade have connections to a shitposting far-right group.

The men were part of a smaller, more extreme group that allegedly formed within the larger anti-vaccine mandate “freedom convoy” protest that shut down the U.S.-Canada border in the small town of Coutts, Alberta. Police said intelligence sources indicated there was a “small organized group” that “had access to a cache of firearms with a large quantity of ammunition.”


“The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade," the RCMP said in a press release.

As first reported by the Globe and Mail, a tactical police squad descended upon two campers and a mobile home in Coutts early Monday morning. They arrested 11 people and seized 13 long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armour, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition, and high-capacity magazines.

“The dangerous criminal activity occurring away from the TV camera and social media posts was real and it was organized,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki. “It could have been deadly for citizens, protestors, and officers.”

Three of the 11 charged—Chris Carbert, 44, Christopher Lysak, 48, Jerry Morin, 40, and Anthony Olienick, 39—face conspiracy to commit murder charges. The others—Ursula Allred, 22, Luke Berk, 62, Evan Colenutt, 23, Johnson Law, 39, Justin Martin, 22, Eastin Oler, 22, Joanne Person, 62, and Janx Zaremba, 18—all face charges of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose and mischief over $5,000. 


At least two of the three men charged with conspiracy to commit murder are linked to a little-known online community of far-right anti-government trolls, say experts, and evidence linking two of the men directly to the community can be found online. 

Police have posted an image featuring the weapons and gear they seized. In the image, you can see plate carriers contained several patches, an “infidel” patch that’s popular in the anti-Islam community, and a simple patch with a white line scrawled across it. This symbol corresponds to the online community of Diagalon—it’s named for the idea that they would slash Canada and the states diagonally and the western side could be their new separated home.

While the idea is more or less a meme, a very real community around it has formed regional groups. The group’s members are encouraged to network offline and build offline communities who meet up and teach each other skills in survivalism, firearms, and more. VICE World News has viewed chapters for this all over the country, several of which have held meetups. The regional chats set up in Alberta were recently deleted.

The group is centered on a far-right anti-government ideology, not unlike the Boogaloo Bois. Also, like the Boogaloo Bois, the group loves to shitpost, meme, and troll—they ironically call themselves bigots. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CANH) has reported on the community for a long time and reports many members of the group are antisemitic and connected to the extreme right. Not everyone in the group could be seen as hardcore anti-government, but there are elements active within the group.


“The community is extremely conspiratorial, regurgitating and spreading not only the theories of its own content creators but also a variety of new and well-worn fantasies about globalist plots, COVID and vaccine misinformation, and Jewish-controlled media and government,” CAHN journalist Peter Smith told VICE. “There has been a consistent violent tone to many of the streams, and the phrase ‘gun or rope’—referencing a solution to dealing with traitors—has become a motto of sorts within the community.”

RCMP did not answer questions sent to them about this community but has said they are investigating ties to larger extremist groups.

Jeremy MacKenzie, a veteran who’s become a popular vlogger in Canada’s far-right, is the de facto leader of the group. Both MacKenzie and the community seized upon the freedom convoy protests. He told his audience this is “our last shot” and told his followers to “be on their best behaviour.” MacKenzie and his vlogging cohorts became known after a video of one of them saying they hoped the trucker convoy would become Canada’s Jan 6 was released.

Since the arrests, MacKenzie has tried to distance himself from the group. MacKenzie did not respond to a detailed list of questions from VICE World News.


Those still active within the group are treating the arrests like a false-flag event that was set up by the RCMP. 

“Total false flag,” wrote one member. “They weren't even part of the convoy.”

Several pieces of evidence show the two men’s connection to the group. Perhaps most importantly is a photo that shows MacKenzie next to Christopher Lysak, one of the men charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The photo, which was provided to VICE World News by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, shows Lysak and MacKenzie drinking beers and smiling at the camera.

The Instagram page where it was posted features the name “Chris Lysak,” and has been linked to several Facebook hunting pages run out of his hometown of Lethbridge which tagged Lysak and his family directly. The Instagram also corresponds to a Telegram user who was active in the Diagalon sphere, under the username Sly Fox. It appears that Lysak was a moderator for the Albertan Diagalon group and was sharing information about Coutts with the group.

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A Facebook page belonging to Chris Carbert, also from Lethbridge, has also posted screenshots that were taken from Diagalon chats. Carbert, who is also one of the men charged with conspiracy to commit murder, posted an image from inside Smuggler’s Saloon in Coutts (the protest headquarters) and pleaded with his online friends for “support and help.”

“We need to remember that this isn't only for Canada and our families but for the whole world. I don't know about you, but I have never been so proud to be Canadian,” he wrote. In other posts, he indicated he was ready to die for his beliefs.


The organizer of the protest in Coutts told the CBC that the larger protest had been “infiltrated by an extreme element.” The names of the accused can be seen written on a large flag hanging in Smuggler’s Saloon. The blockade has since ended. 

In streams and posts following these arrests, MacKenzie, who was in Ottawa during this time, has denied knowing the men, said anyone could have bought the patches, threatened to sue people, and implied this was a false-flag event.

In a livestream posted shortly after the arrests, a paranoid and despondent MacKenzie said, “There has been some community-associated paraphernalia confiscated.” He told his audience that “the situation is really bad right now” and “it’s difficult to navigate this and talk about it in a way that doesn’t completely fuck myself ’cause of legal reasons.” 

At the end of the stream posted around the time of arrests, he acknowledges knowing the accused.

“Please guys, if you’re the praying type, please in your thoughts, keep the boys in Alberta. They got arrested, we haven't heard from them, and we don’t know what’s going on. There are some rumours they're getting fucking charged with some heavy shit.”

“I don’t know what is happening there. I know as much as you do, but I know they’re not bad guys, I know they’re not bad people. We got to have each other's back.”

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.