Agent Margaritaville, a well-known Canadian conspiracy theorist, has been arrested and charged for allegedly harassing the people he spread conspiracies about.
Ontario Provincial Police arrested Gerald 'Guy' Brummell, aka Agent Margaritaville, on February 3, and charged him with two counts of uttering threats and criminal harassment. The arrest comes after Dave Perry, a former Toronto Police detective, came forward to the media in late 2020 with allegations he was being harassed by Brummell.
“Sometimes it was a veiled threat, sometimes it was a direct threat,” Perry told VICE World News. “There were death threats. There were threats of significant harm to our entire family. It was just persistent and non stopping.”
Perry alleges he was bombarded with messages via email and on social media by Brummell and received a threatening call on Christmas Eve.
The YouTube conspiracy theorist's alleged fixation on the former detective arose from the involvement of Perry’s company, Investigative Solutions Network, in the investigation of the 2018 murder of tech CEO Matthew Staikos in Toronto. Brummell was Staikos’ brother-in-law. In multiple online videos Brummell indicates he believes Perry and others covered up Staikos' murder. Perry also alleged Brummell harassed Staikos’ immediate family. Perry alleges that Brummell’s harassment tapered off after the summer but picked up again in December.
Perry put up a $10,000 reward in early January for any information that would lead to the arrest of Brummell. Following the arrest—which the reward didn’t play a part in—Perry told VICE World News he was relieved but doesn’t feel “that in any way feel like this is over.” Brummell has been on the run from authorities since the start of 2020—Toronto Police told VICE in July that he was wanted for engaging “in conduct to impede the performance of justice duties.” Perry told VICE that Brummell worked hard to not be caught by not moving around and couch surfing frequently so there was no fixed address for him.
The 57-year-old has been spreading conspiracy theories for years. Recently he began to attract a small following online under his nom-de-guerre Agent Margaritaville. He started “The Children’s Army” which is made up of his most devout followers—all of which have “agent” as a precursor in their name—who aid him in researching his conspiracies and harassing his enemies. He even made T-shirts for his group. His YouTube channel got upwards of tens of thousands of views on some videos and featured Perry prominently, was recently removed as were the Twitter accounts for several of his most diehard followers following Perry’s complaints.
The group follows a fairly similar script to QAnon—believing that a cabal of judges and authority figures are covering up murders and trafficking children. In this case, however, instead of a secretive intelligence agent playing the central role, it’s a squat white-haired man calling himself Agent Margaritaville. Like Q, his small following is built on unkept promises—Brummell routinely talked about “files” or “documents” he claimed would lead to the arrest of whoever he was targeting.
Brummell's following has led to him being chummy with other figures influential in the Canadian conspiracy world including Norman Traversy, who has raised over $150,000 for his promise to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrested by any means necessary. (At the time of this publication Trudeau has yet to be arrested.)
While Brummell’s sphere of influence in the movement is small, those who know and support him are taking his arrest hard. Some are, unsurprisingly, spreading conspiracies that the arrest was just a bigger part of their believed Staikos coverup.
One of Brummell's most die-hard followers, who goes by the handle Agent A1, has posted several inscrutable videos about the arrest on a newly made YouTube channel. “Agent Margaritaville URGENTLY arrested to COVER-UP Murder of Matthew Staikos by NEWS & CROWN” is the title of one of the videos (which is set to Kid Rock's ‘Cowboy’.) “AGENT MARGARITAVILLE ARRESTED - THIS is what THEY are COVERING UP” is another. A third video seems to imply, with no justificiation, that Toronto rapper Drake is involved in the Staikos murder and that’s why Brummell was arrested.
“Agent Margaritaville was arrested Feb 3rd and is in custody,” wrote one user on Twitter. “We do no(t) know where they have taken him. For those aware of his story, please pray for his SAFETY above all.”
Some in the movement, who aren’t even familiar with Brummell or his theories, also took note of the arrest. “Agent Margaritaville has been captured,” tweeted another supporter. “Don't know who he was but he sure seemed to know a lot!”
One man, who is influential in the conspiracy and Yellow Vest movement, made a lengthy “emergency broadcast” on YouTube, about Brummell’s arrest. In the video he titled "Trudeau's forces are hunting Canadian patriots" and he alleges that the arrest was political and implied the government may kill Brummell.
“It seems that possibly the information that he had to share, that he was trying to get out, might be the reason why they were trying to bury him in a cell and try and make him go away,” said the man. “That’s why it’s super important that I get the message out so… it’s his protection while he’s inside.”
Agent Margaritaville remains in police custody.
“I think that we haven't seen the end of this guy,” said Perry. “I don't know what it's gonna take.”
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