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Judge denies bail for protester charged in southern Alberta border blockade

Demonstrators against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions leave in a truck convoy after blocking the highway at the busy border crossing near Coutts, Alta., on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. A Lethbridge man who was charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the border blockade has been denied bail. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A judge has denied bail for a man charged with conspiracy to commit murder at a border blockade in southern Alberta.

Chris Carbert, who is 45, appeared by video in Court of Queen's Bench in Lethbridge on Friday to hear the decision after a bail hearing last week.

Reasons for Justice Johnna Kubik's ruling are protected by a publication ban.

Carbert and three other men are accused of conspiring to kill police officers at a blockade near Coutts, Alta., in protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions.

One of the men, Christopher Lysak, was denied bail in March.

A bail decision for Anthony Olienick is to come June 9 after a hearing Friday, and Jerry Morin also remains in custody.

The Crown has already indicated it plans to try the four men together.

They are to return to court on June 13.

The protest near Coutts began in late January and lasted for almost three weeks. 

Fourteen people were charged in February after RCMP found a cache of long guns, handguns, body armour, large amounts of ammunition and high-capacity magazines in three trailers. 

Police allege a group at the protest was willing to use force if the blockade was disrupted. Officers described the threat as "very serious." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press