Police consult Crown over possible charges in sovereign citizen dispute

CALGARY — Calgary police say they will consult with the Crown on whether they can get involved in a two-year dispute between an Alberta pensioner and the man she says has claimed her rental property as a sovereign “embassy.”

CALGARY — Calgary police say they will consult with the Crown on whether they can get involved in a two-year dispute between an Alberta pensioner and the man she says has claimed her rental property as a sovereign “embassy.”

Rebekah Caverhill says she has been billed for renovations the man did inside the home and that he had a lien placed on the property.

Caverhill says the man, Andreas Pirelli, called himself a “Freemen-on-the-Land,” is only paying about half the rent, and has already ignored one eviction notice.

Police initially referred Caverhill to the civil courts, but Acting Insp. Julien Gagne now says officers are consulting with Crown prosecutors to see if there are any criminal charges that can be laid.

“We’ve been providing her guidance as to what actions to take regarding the civil portion of her matter,” said Gagne. “We’re also consulting with the Crown prosecutors office to determine if there’s anything criminal stemming from the overarching interactions and involvement with our alleged offender.”

Gagne said it is unlikely charges will be laid, but investigators want to make sure.

Gagne said so-called sovereign citizens haven’t been as serious a problem in Canada as they have been in the United States, but he does note there is a mandatory training course about the movement that all Calgary police officers are required to take.

“It’s basically a training module on identifying who they are and what ideologies they follow. It’s basically about officer safety based on what’s happened in the past south of the border,” said Gagne, adding police are keeping a close eye on the movement.

“We’re monitoring to make sure it doesn’t become as big a problem as it has been in the United States and obviously we work with our partner agencies south of the border as well to help us gauge the trends,” he said.

“We’re not seeing that really being a huge issue for us right now.”

The Canadian Press sought comment from Pirelli on the possibility of charges, but he didn’t immediately respond to an email.

He responded to Caverhill’s initial allegations with a warning that he has trademark claims on the name “Andreas Pirelli” and “The First Nations Sovran Embassy of Earth.”

The Law Society of British Columbia and B.C. Notaries have both issued warnings about Freemen. In a bulletin last year, the society said the group may number as many as 30,000 in Canada.

RCMP and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are developing awareness materials for frontline officers and the movement is the subject of upcoming policing seminars in Vancouver and Toronto.

The FBI considers the movement a domestic terror threat in the U.S. but a Freemen-on-the-Land spokesman told The Canadian Press earlier this month that violence is not advocated and has no place in the movement.

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read