Freedom Convoy protest leaders in Canada said “nefarious elements” are plotting to plant stolen weapons on demonstrators in Ottawa to “discredit” their movement, a day after citizens seized 15 weapons and arrested 11 people from thousands of miles away. in Alberta.
Danny Bulford, the self-proclaimed head of security for the Freedom Convoy, made the allegation in a video message late Monday evening suggesting the plot involved a truck full of firearms that was stolen in Ontario on Sunday.
“We have received information from several credible sources that firearms may be planted in Ottawa, specifically around the Freedom Convoy, to discredit the protest and use it as an excuse to forcibly remove peaceful demonstrators,” Bulford said. former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. an officer.
“This private information correlates with approximately 2,000 firearms stolen in Peterborough, Ontario on Sunday morning,” he continued. “Our sources told us that these weapons may have been planted by nefarious elements, and at the moment we have no further information about who is behind this act of sabotage.”
Bulford did not claim that weapons seized on Monday in the Alberta border blockade were planted, and protest leaders have so far refused to speak publicly about the arrests in Alberta.
A senior Mounties official told DailyMail.com that there is no information linking a shipment of stolen weapons in Ontario to firearms seized in Alberta.
It comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau activated rarely used emergency powers to quell protests against vaccination mandates that continue to paralyze the capital Ottawa and block several western border crossings.
Danny Bulford, the self-proclaimed head of security for the Freedom Convoy, said “nefarious elements” are plotting to plant stolen weapons on demonstrators in Ottawa to “discredit” their movement.
Early Sunday morning, thieves (left and right) stole a parked tractor trailer containing about 2,000 Savage Arms small-caliber guns, but police say it was an opportunity crime.
Early Sunday morning, thieves stole a parked tractor trailer containing about 2,000 Savage Arms small-caliber guns, but police say it was a crime committed by crooks who first tried to gain access to several other trucks.
The brazen robbery of a shipment of weapons took place around 3 a.m. at a trucking company on Parkhill Road East in Peterborough, a city of 81,000 people about 85 miles northeast of Toronto.
“The investigation is leaning towards an isolated crime of opportunity rather than a targeted incident,” Peterborough Police Senior Sergeant Michael Jackson said at a briefing.
“It is believed that prior to this, the suspects broke into several other trading yards in the city, and they tried to take different trucks and trailers before leaving with the truck and trailer wanted in this incident,” he added.
Police say the thieves arrived at the scene in a four-door blue sedan, which then drove away with the stolen truck.
Bulford, who resigned from the Mounties last year over their vaccination mandate, did not say in a statement what evidence he had to support the theory that the stolen weapons would be planted on demonstrators in Ottawa.
People walk past cars blocking a road during a protest by truck drivers against pandemic health regulations and the Trudeau government outside the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on Monday.
Bulford said the stolen guns in Peterborough could be linked to a plot to set up protesters in Ottawa.
“As soon as we received this information, we notified the relevant authorities with whom we are cooperating, including the Ottawa Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Parliamentary Protective Service,” Bulford said.
Bulford insisted that the Freedom Convoy protests were committed to seeking change within the “democratic process”, saying, “We are never going to go beyond that democratic process.”
The gun shipment stolen in Peterborough appears to have absolutely nothing to do with the guns seized on Monday in Alberta, though that hasn’t stopped internet conspiracy theorists from trying to link the two events.
The photographs of the weapons seized in Alberta do not match the description of the weapons stolen in Peterborough, which is 2,000 miles away and 35 hours away.
A senior Mounties official told DailyMail.com in an interview that there was no reason to believe the guns stolen in Ontario were linked to a cache seized in Alberta.
“The distance from Ontario to here is prohibitive, so this is unlikely,” said RCMP superintendent Roberta McKale. “There’s no reason to tie them up.”
“We are still investigating the firearms case and at this point there is no information linking the stolen firearms in Ontario to our situation in Alberta,” she added.
The Royal Canadian Mountain Police said on Monday that eleven people linked to protests against the vaccination mandate were arrested in the village of Coutts in Alberta, near the border with Montana.
The militias also seized a cache of firearms, including several long guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and body armor. Police have not identified the owners, and it is not clear if the seized weapons were legally located.
In Alberta, the mountains seized this weapons cache on Monday morning. There is no suggestion that the guns seized in Alberta are related to the guns stolen 2,000 miles away in Peterborough.
“The Alberta RCMP recently became aware of a small organized group as part of the larger Coutts protest,” the Mounties said in a statement.
“There was information that this group had access to a firearms depot with a large amount of ammunition.
“It was said that the group was ready to use force against the police if any attempts were made to break the blockade. This led to an immediate and complex investigation to determine the extent of the threat and the criminal organization.”
Early on Monday morning, the RCMP, having received a search warrant, raided three trailers and arrested 11 of them.
The police found 13 long pistols, handguns, several sets of body armor and a machete. They stated that they had seized a large amount of ammunition and high-capacity magazines.
Unlike the United States, where firearms are primarily regulated by the state, firearms are federally regulated in Canada.
Some weapons, including automatic weapons, sawn-off shotguns and rifles, and interchangeable blade knives, are “prohibited weapons”.
Other firearms such as handguns and semi-automatic weapons with short barrels (less than 18 1/2 inches) are “restricted weapons”.
Anyone can own a restricted firearm if they have obtained a “registration certificate”.
Hunting rifles and shotguns are not restricted or prohibited, but it is illegal to possess them without a firearms purchase certificate.
On Monday, Trudeau invoked emergency powers to quell the crippling protests, laying out plans not only to tow their rigs, but to strike at their bank accounts and livelihoods.
Messages and posters of support during a truckers’ protest against the pandemic health rules and Trudeau’s government outside the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa on Monday.
Drivers parked their trucks, blocking lanes, to protest pandemic restrictions in Ottawa on Monday.
So far, Freedom Escort leaders have not discussed the arrests in Alberta and interrupted a press conference on Monday when they were asked about the incident.
On Monday afternoon, Trudeau invoked emergency powers to quell truckers’ crippling protests, laying out plans not only to evacuate their trucks, but to strike at their bank accounts and livelihoods.
“These blockades are illegal, and if you are still involved in them, now is the time to return home,” he said.
Citing the Canadian Emergency Act, which gives the federal government broad powers to restore order, Trudeau ruled out the use of the military.
Instead, his government threatened to have the cars towed to keep essential services running; freeze personal and corporate bank accounts of truckers; and suspend insurance for their drilling rigs.
“Consider yourself forewarned,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said. – Send your drilling rigs home.
Freeland, who is also finance minister, said the government would also expand its anti-money laundering regulations to target crowdfunding sites that are used to support illegal blockades.
Trudeau did not indicate when the new crackdown would begin. But he assured that the emergency measures “will be time-limited, geographically targeted, and reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are intended to address.”