Local man arrested after report of online threats against police

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A 32-year-old St. Albert man has been charged after threats to shoot police officers were found on a social media site and traced to a St. Albert residence.

The situation developed on Friday when an American resident came across a posting on a social networking Internet site from a man who was threatening to shoot police officers. This finding was reported to an FBI liaison office in Canada who in turn reported it to K Division RCMP headquarters, states a news release from St. Albert RCMP. Subsequent investigation found that the origin of the Internet posting was a residence in St. Albert.

The St. Albert RCMP detachment responded with resources that included both uniformed and plainclothes officers, the RCMP emergency response team, a canine unit, hostage negotiators and the technical crime unit.

Officers surrounded the suspect’s residence, and after about an hour of negotiating, arrested one man without incident. Investigators later executed a search warrant on the residence and seized a variety of evidence related to the investigation.

James Houtstra of St. Albert has been charged with one count of uttering threats. He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in St. Albert Provincial Court on Monday, Jan. 30.

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