Anti-mandate demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. One of four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at a border blockade protest in southern Alberta has run into a roadblock in his desire to set an early trial date. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Anti-mandate demonstrators gather as a truck convoy blocks the highway at the busy U.S. border crossing in Coutts, Alta., Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. One of four men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at a border blockade protest in southern Alberta has run into a roadblock in his desire to set an early trial date. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

RCMP lay charges against three men related to Coutts border protest last winter

RCMP have laid charges against three more men connected to a blockade that paralyzed the United States border at Coutts, Alta., earlier this year, including one of the organizers.

Marco Van Huigenbos, 32, and Alex Van Herk, 53 — both of Fort Macleod — have been charged with mischief over five thousand dollars, as has George Janzen, 43, of Taber.

Van Huigenbos, one of the organizers of the protest against COVID-19 measures, is a councillor in Fort Macleod, a town in southern Alberta.

Police say the charges stem from the individuals being key participants at the blockade for two weeks beginning in late January.

All three men have been released and are to appear in Lethbridge Provincial Court on Oct. 4, 2022.

A trial before a judge and jury has been scheduled for June of next year for four other men charged with conspiracy to commit murder at the blockade.

Chris Carbert, Chris Lysak, Anthony Olienick and Jerry Morin were charged in February after RCMP found a cache of guns, body armour and ammunition in trailers at the protest near Coutts.