Hamilton man convicted in ‘bizarre’ plot to kidnap former Alectra Utilities CEO

News May 27, 2021 by Nicole O'Reilly Hamilton Spectator

He led a group, armed with zip ties, to take over the Alectra Utilities building and arrest its former CEO.

The group didn’t make it far in their attempt nearly four years ago. When police got to the John Street North building, they found the five men waiting outside. They readily admitted they were there to seize the building and take Max Cananzi to jail.

The Hamilton man says he was seeking a “correction of contract” with the utility that day — but he also believed he had the authority to seize the utility’s land and everything on it. He told police he owned everything right down to the pants and shoes of the CEO.

Last week, Brandon Brown — who in court was called Noble Elijah El Muhammad Brown Armstrong Bey — was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap.

But despite the seriousness of the offence — it carries a maximum sentence of life in prison — Bey was spared a jail sentence. Instead, he was sentenced to two years probation in a case that Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman called “bizarre.”

The 40-year-old, who now says his name is “Noble: Elija-Muhamad: Megafin-Strong: Bey,” told The Spectator he was about 80 per cent pleased with what happened in court last week.

Bey was originally charged with five offences. He was found not guilty of obstructing police for failing to identify himself with his legal name. The Crown dropped a charge of failing to attend court and Goodman dismissed two counts of criminal harassment after a legal problem with one of the witnesses. His only conviction was for conspiracy to kidnap.

Bey is polite and well-spoken, but at times difficult to follow. He says his beliefs and actions are all for the greater good, to correct the wrongs that began with colonialism.

Before being sentenced in court he said: “doing the right thing has always been my No. 1 priority.” He never wanted to hurt anyone.

In an interview with The Spectator, Bey said his beliefs stem from the damage of British imperialism and the theft of land from Indigenous people. He believes a fraud is being perpetrated against people through Canada’s system of money. His own ancestry includes Arawak people — Indigenous people from the Caribbean. His grandfather was noted Canadian civil rights leader Bromley Armstrong. He sees his beliefs and actions of a continuation of that activism.

He said he focused on Horizon Utilities (now Alectra) because they were demanding payment from him. The utility was not responding to his letters.

Alectra declined to comment about the court case.

Bey, who was self-represented, testified in his own defence during the trial. He tried to explain himself, but ultimately Goodman found his evidence confusing and inconsistent. Goodman also noted multiple times that Bey is “an intelligent, articulate and respectful individual.”

“However, he is entirely misguided,” Goodman added.

Bey was sent for a psychiatric assessment at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. However, Dr. Maaz Usmani found he did not meet the criteria to be considered not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

Among Bey’s claims was that he had the authority to seize the utility’s property because he was acting on behalf of the Pope. He claimed not to be subject to Canada’s laws and to be the “Grand Marshal” of the “Kingdom of Tunis Republic of North America.”

Bey says that self-imposed title has changed again. He now says he’s “Grand Marshal for the: Kingdom: Tunis-Republic: Aukebulan-NORTH-WEST.” For Bey, every word and all of the punctuation has meaning.

According to the court document, the strange incident began around 9 a.m. on June 26, 2017 when Bey and several accomplices went to Hamilton police central station. Bey presented documents to officers at the front desk and said he planned to arrest someone. Bey was told his documents were not legal, that he had no authority to arrest anyone and that if he did, he would be arrested himself, according to Goodman’s May 19 written decision.

But less than an hour later, at 9:49 a.m., police were called to Horizon Utilities at 55 John St. N. Several men were there claiming they were going to take the building and arrest Cananzi.

Police arrived and spoke with five men who admitted they were intending to arrest Cananzi and take him to “Mimico jail.” Bey was never violent or aggressive. The men were asked to leave and the next day Bey was arrested.

The accomplices were not named in court. However, Goodman said it is clear Bey was the leader. One of the men pleaded guilty to mischief in a separate hearing.

Before the incident, Bey reached out to various police and government officials asking for assistance to seize the estate and arrest the CEO. This included a call to Halton police.

In court, assistant Crown attorney Steve O’Brien — acting on behalf of assistant Crown Jeff Levy who prosecuted the case — noted the seriousness of the offence.

“This isn’t a trivial offence, or frat boy crime,” he said. Yet he agreed jail time was not warranted.

Goodman said he would have considered a conditional discharge, which would have meant no criminal record, but that’s not allowed with kidnapping offences.

“In almost 11 years in this job, without a doubt you have been probably one of the most respectful accused to come before me,” Goodman said.

He encouraged Bey to put his passion and intelligence to good use.

“I’m hoping this matter can be put behind you,” he said.

Nicole O’Reilly is a Hamilton-based reporter covering crime and justice for The Spectator. Reach her via email: noreilly@thespec.com

Hamilton man convicted in ‘bizarre’ plot to kidnap former Alectra Utilities CEO

The judge called the man respectful and intelligent, but misguided in beliefs. Among the man’s claims was that he had the authority to seize the utility’s property because he was acting on behalf of the Pope.

News May 27, 2021 by Nicole O'Reilly Hamilton Spectator

He led a group, armed with zip ties, to take over the Alectra Utilities building and arrest its former CEO.

The group didn’t make it far in their attempt nearly four years ago. When police got to the John Street North building, they found the five men waiting outside. They readily admitted they were there to seize the building and take Max Cananzi to jail.

The Hamilton man says he was seeking a “correction of contract” with the utility that day — but he also believed he had the authority to seize the utility’s land and everything on it. He told police he owned everything right down to the pants and shoes of the CEO.

Last week, Brandon Brown — who in court was called Noble Elijah El Muhammad Brown Armstrong Bey — was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap.

But despite the seriousness of the offence — it carries a maximum sentence of life in prison — Bey was spared a jail sentence. Instead, he was sentenced to two years probation in a case that Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman called “bizarre.”

The 40-year-old, who now says his name is “Noble: Elija-Muhamad: Megafin-Strong: Bey,” told The Spectator he was about 80 per cent pleased with what happened in court last week.

Bey was originally charged with five offences. He was found not guilty of obstructing police for failing to identify himself with his legal name. The Crown dropped a charge of failing to attend court and Goodman dismissed two counts of criminal harassment after a legal problem with one of the witnesses. His only conviction was for conspiracy to kidnap.

Bey is polite and well-spoken, but at times difficult to follow. He says his beliefs and actions are all for the greater good, to correct the wrongs that began with colonialism.

Before being sentenced in court he said: “doing the right thing has always been my No. 1 priority.” He never wanted to hurt anyone.

In an interview with The Spectator, Bey said his beliefs stem from the damage of British imperialism and the theft of land from Indigenous people. He believes a fraud is being perpetrated against people through Canada’s system of money. His own ancestry includes Arawak people — Indigenous people from the Caribbean. His grandfather was noted Canadian civil rights leader Bromley Armstrong. He sees his beliefs and actions of a continuation of that activism.

He said he focused on Horizon Utilities (now Alectra) because they were demanding payment from him. The utility was not responding to his letters.

Alectra declined to comment about the court case.

Bey, who was self-represented, testified in his own defence during the trial. He tried to explain himself, but ultimately Goodman found his evidence confusing and inconsistent. Goodman also noted multiple times that Bey is “an intelligent, articulate and respectful individual.”

“However, he is entirely misguided,” Goodman added.

Bey was sent for a psychiatric assessment at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. However, Dr. Maaz Usmani found he did not meet the criteria to be considered not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

Among Bey’s claims was that he had the authority to seize the utility’s property because he was acting on behalf of the Pope. He claimed not to be subject to Canada’s laws and to be the “Grand Marshal” of the “Kingdom of Tunis Republic of North America.”

Bey says that self-imposed title has changed again. He now says he’s “Grand Marshal for the: Kingdom: Tunis-Republic: Aukebulan-NORTH-WEST.” For Bey, every word and all of the punctuation has meaning.

According to the court document, the strange incident began around 9 a.m. on June 26, 2017 when Bey and several accomplices went to Hamilton police central station. Bey presented documents to officers at the front desk and said he planned to arrest someone. Bey was told his documents were not legal, that he had no authority to arrest anyone and that if he did, he would be arrested himself, according to Goodman’s May 19 written decision.

But less than an hour later, at 9:49 a.m., police were called to Horizon Utilities at 55 John St. N. Several men were there claiming they were going to take the building and arrest Cananzi.

Police arrived and spoke with five men who admitted they were intending to arrest Cananzi and take him to “Mimico jail.” Bey was never violent or aggressive. The men were asked to leave and the next day Bey was arrested.

The accomplices were not named in court. However, Goodman said it is clear Bey was the leader. One of the men pleaded guilty to mischief in a separate hearing.

Before the incident, Bey reached out to various police and government officials asking for assistance to seize the estate and arrest the CEO. This included a call to Halton police.

In court, assistant Crown attorney Steve O’Brien — acting on behalf of assistant Crown Jeff Levy who prosecuted the case — noted the seriousness of the offence.

“This isn’t a trivial offence, or frat boy crime,” he said. Yet he agreed jail time was not warranted.

Goodman said he would have considered a conditional discharge, which would have meant no criminal record, but that’s not allowed with kidnapping offences.

“In almost 11 years in this job, without a doubt you have been probably one of the most respectful accused to come before me,” Goodman said.

He encouraged Bey to put his passion and intelligence to good use.

“I’m hoping this matter can be put behind you,” he said.

Nicole O’Reilly is a Hamilton-based reporter covering crime and justice for The Spectator. Reach her via email: noreilly@thespec.com

Hamilton man convicted in ‘bizarre’ plot to kidnap former Alectra Utilities CEO

The judge called the man respectful and intelligent, but misguided in beliefs. Among the man’s claims was that he had the authority to seize the utility’s property because he was acting on behalf of the Pope.

News May 27, 2021 by Nicole O'Reilly Hamilton Spectator

He led a group, armed with zip ties, to take over the Alectra Utilities building and arrest its former CEO.

The group didn’t make it far in their attempt nearly four years ago. When police got to the John Street North building, they found the five men waiting outside. They readily admitted they were there to seize the building and take Max Cananzi to jail.

The Hamilton man says he was seeking a “correction of contract” with the utility that day — but he also believed he had the authority to seize the utility’s land and everything on it. He told police he owned everything right down to the pants and shoes of the CEO.

Last week, Brandon Brown — who in court was called Noble Elijah El Muhammad Brown Armstrong Bey — was convicted of conspiracy to kidnap.

But despite the seriousness of the offence — it carries a maximum sentence of life in prison — Bey was spared a jail sentence. Instead, he was sentenced to two years probation in a case that Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman called “bizarre.”

The 40-year-old, who now says his name is “Noble: Elija-Muhamad: Megafin-Strong: Bey,” told The Spectator he was about 80 per cent pleased with what happened in court last week.

Bey was originally charged with five offences. He was found not guilty of obstructing police for failing to identify himself with his legal name. The Crown dropped a charge of failing to attend court and Goodman dismissed two counts of criminal harassment after a legal problem with one of the witnesses. His only conviction was for conspiracy to kidnap.

Bey is polite and well-spoken, but at times difficult to follow. He says his beliefs and actions are all for the greater good, to correct the wrongs that began with colonialism.

Before being sentenced in court he said: “doing the right thing has always been my No. 1 priority.” He never wanted to hurt anyone.

In an interview with The Spectator, Bey said his beliefs stem from the damage of British imperialism and the theft of land from Indigenous people. He believes a fraud is being perpetrated against people through Canada’s system of money. His own ancestry includes Arawak people — Indigenous people from the Caribbean. His grandfather was noted Canadian civil rights leader Bromley Armstrong. He sees his beliefs and actions of a continuation of that activism.

He said he focused on Horizon Utilities (now Alectra) because they were demanding payment from him. The utility was not responding to his letters.

Alectra declined to comment about the court case.

Bey, who was self-represented, testified in his own defence during the trial. He tried to explain himself, but ultimately Goodman found his evidence confusing and inconsistent. Goodman also noted multiple times that Bey is “an intelligent, articulate and respectful individual.”

“However, he is entirely misguided,” Goodman added.

Bey was sent for a psychiatric assessment at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. However, Dr. Maaz Usmani found he did not meet the criteria to be considered not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

Among Bey’s claims was that he had the authority to seize the utility’s property because he was acting on behalf of the Pope. He claimed not to be subject to Canada’s laws and to be the “Grand Marshal” of the “Kingdom of Tunis Republic of North America.”

Bey says that self-imposed title has changed again. He now says he’s “Grand Marshal for the: Kingdom: Tunis-Republic: Aukebulan-NORTH-WEST.” For Bey, every word and all of the punctuation has meaning.

According to the court document, the strange incident began around 9 a.m. on June 26, 2017 when Bey and several accomplices went to Hamilton police central station. Bey presented documents to officers at the front desk and said he planned to arrest someone. Bey was told his documents were not legal, that he had no authority to arrest anyone and that if he did, he would be arrested himself, according to Goodman’s May 19 written decision.

But less than an hour later, at 9:49 a.m., police were called to Horizon Utilities at 55 John St. N. Several men were there claiming they were going to take the building and arrest Cananzi.

Police arrived and spoke with five men who admitted they were intending to arrest Cananzi and take him to “Mimico jail.” Bey was never violent or aggressive. The men were asked to leave and the next day Bey was arrested.

The accomplices were not named in court. However, Goodman said it is clear Bey was the leader. One of the men pleaded guilty to mischief in a separate hearing.

Before the incident, Bey reached out to various police and government officials asking for assistance to seize the estate and arrest the CEO. This included a call to Halton police.

In court, assistant Crown attorney Steve O’Brien — acting on behalf of assistant Crown Jeff Levy who prosecuted the case — noted the seriousness of the offence.

“This isn’t a trivial offence, or frat boy crime,” he said. Yet he agreed jail time was not warranted.

Goodman said he would have considered a conditional discharge, which would have meant no criminal record, but that’s not allowed with kidnapping offences.

“In almost 11 years in this job, without a doubt you have been probably one of the most respectful accused to come before me,” Goodman said.

He encouraged Bey to put his passion and intelligence to good use.

“I’m hoping this matter can be put behind you,” he said.

Nicole O’Reilly is a Hamilton-based reporter covering crime and justice for The Spectator. Reach her via email: noreilly@thespec.com