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

Woman who posed as animal control officer sentenced in Red Deer court

B.C. woman sentenced to 90 days in prison after targeting and harassing Innisfail dog owner

One of the last buildings needed for Red Deer’s 2019 Winter Games is being completed

RDC residence is on schedule, despite ‘tight’ time-frame, says RDC official

Red Deer singer/songwriter is Top 3 finalist in Project Wild

Ryan Langlois, who wins at least $50,000, will find out Nov. 24 if he gets top prize

Man charged in fatal hit and run in North Red Deer

‘The victim had been standing by a parked vehicle, not in the traffic lane, when he was hit’

A No-Go: Athletes and officials weigh in after Calgary votes ‘no’ to 2026 bid

TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years?… Continue reading

Predators may have NHL’s best goalie combo on, off ice

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League buys Ontario’s League 1, looks to develop talent there

TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League has bought Ontario’s League 1 and… Continue reading

2015 ‘Bachelor’ star pleads guilty to reduced charge

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — A farmer who appeared on ABC’s “The Bachelor” pleaded… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ returning in April 2019 for final season

LOS ANGELES — The eighth and last season of “Game of Thrones”… Continue reading

Big question for Amazon’s 2 chosen cities: Will it pay off?

WASHINGTON — The awarding of Amazon’s second headquarters to two affluent localities… Continue reading

Calgarians vote ‘no’ on 2026 Olympic bid in non-binding plebiscite

CALGARY — The results are in, and a majority of Calgarians are… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl scores and adds two assists to power Oilers past Canadiens 6-2

EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor… Continue reading

Most Read