When Islamophobic streamer Kevin Johnston failed to show up for the last leg of his Alberta prison sentence a warrant went out for his arrest. Less than a day later, Johnston would be in custody for allegedly walking across the border – but not before getting lost in below-freezing temperatures, forcing his would-be accomplice to call authorities for help.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Kevin Johnston remains in custody after reportedly being picked up by US Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, the day he was required to turn himself in to begin an 18-month prison sentence in Ontario for repeatedly breaching a court order.
According to the Calgary Police Service, “Kevin J Johnston was arrested by US Border Patrol agents early [Tuesday] morning while attempting to cross the Saskatchewan-Montana border on foot.”
Adding, he is being held in the town of Plentywood, Montana, police say they are working to have him returned to the northern side of the border.
Johnston is a racist live streamer best known for being ordered to pay $2.5 million in a cyber libel suit for repeatedly defaming Mohamad Fakih, the owner of Paramount Fine Foods, and his failed run for Calgary mayor in 2021 that resulted in the city choosing not to issue a voters list over fears it would reveal the address of every registered voter in the municipality to Johnston, who often threatened to arrest public health officials if elected mayor.
After this, however, it was revealed through a live stream by self-proclaimed “conservative political journalist” April LaJune that Johnston may have become lost while trying to navigate his way through the wilderness on foot.
LaJune does not mention Johnston by name in her stream, but says she travelled from Missouri to Montana to “person is seeking political asylum” reportedly coming from Canada. In her YouTube comments section, however, she confirms it is Johnston.
“I had to go and try to find him because as he was going to enter the United States he got lost – I mean lost,” LaJune said to those watching the live stream. “I’m talking about, like, really lost and we couldn't find him, we couldn't find them at all in fact. It's been, let's see, I want to say 15 hours maybe, lost in snow in negative 20-degree weather.”
Repeatedly referring to the lost individual as an “asylum seeker in the United States,” by her telling Johnston became lost after he attempted, without success, to use his cell phone to share his location with LaJune. He reportedly brought little to nothing in the way of survival gear: “He didn’t have a flashlight, he didn’t have a blanket. I mean, these are things that you should have.”
She added that when she spoke to him during the night he was “disoriented,” and that he may have been trying to find his way by following the stars.
Eventually, according to LaJune, she called US authorities and at the time of the stream she had recently heard that Johnston had been found, but had not received word on his condition.
“All night long I’ve been trying to find him. Where is he, where is he, where is he?” she said about her ordeal, “then about an hour and a half ago … a picture came over my phone with a location mark and so I was like a screenshot so I sent that over to border patrol as fast as I could and tried to get them there.”
Johnston – who has regularly spoken out against what he calls “illegal border crossers” – released a statement on Wednesday, explaining that he had been the subject of constant state surveillance and that “being marked for death by my own country was the final straw.”
NEW on Kevin J. Johnston:— Meghan Grant (@CBCMeg) January 5, 2022
Here’s a full statement from Johnston after he was arrested trying to cross the border into Montana on foot.
Johnston says he was “marked for death” in Canada and had to flee.
Story has been updated https://t.co/UCdcxUBouf pic.twitter.com/ZkFFZrUiDB
“I was hoping for safe haven in the United States where I can express my views,” Johnston added.
LaJune is an American peddler of the Sovereign Citizen ideology, a disparate but connected pseudo-legal ideology that believes, among many other things, that the correct combination of jargon and specialized paperwork can both unlock hidden fortunes and free followers from legal consequences.
While running a business from Ignacio, Colorado, according to the Durango Herald, LaJune ran a business called “TDA (Treasury Direct Accounts) Account Information” that offered packets to people promising to help them unlock the hidden government funds.
Two employees reportedly told the Herald that the business made “$20,000 to $30,000 a month by selling the kits.”
It is not yet clear when Johnston will be returned to the country, if he will face charges in the United States, and how this will impact his current sentences. He continues to await sentencing on an assault charge in British Columbia, as well as a series of charges related to trespassing and forceable entry in a Delburne, Alberta, business.
The Canadian Anti Hate Network has reached out to the US Customs and Border Protection Services for comment and will update accordingly.