International Effort Results in Charges Laid over Internet Threats


RCMPEDMONTON – Crimebeat – As police services across North America become increasingly engaged with social media, they are often aided by sharp-eyed citizens. An incident in Alberta last week emphasises this point. RCMP “K” Division reports, “On Friday, January 13, 2012 at approximately 10:30AM, St Albert RCMP were alerted of a possible imminent threat from a local resident. An American resident was on a social networking internet site when she came across a posting from a male threatening to shoot police officers.

“This finding was reported to a FBI liaison office in Canada who in turn reported it to K Division RCMP Headquarters. Subsequent investigation led to the origin of the Internet posting which was a residence in St.Albert.

St.Albert Detachment mobilized all detachment resources including both uniformed and plainclothes officers. Other support sections utilized included: the RCMP Emergency Response Team; Police Dog Services; Hostage Negotiators; and the Technical Crime Unit. At approximately 9:45 p.m., officers surrounded the suspects residence and arrested one adult male without incident after approximately one hour of negotiating. Investigators later executed a search warrant on the residence and seized a variety of evidence related to the investigation.

Charged with 1 count of Uttering Threats ( Section 264.1(1)(a) Criminal Code) is 32 year old James Houtstra of St.Albert.

Houtsrta has been remanded in custody and is scheduled for court on Monday, January 30, 2012 at St.Albert Provincial Court, to answer to this charge.

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