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Anti-abortionist James Kopp is escorted from his trial in Buffalo, N.Y. in March of 2003. (GARY WIEPERT/REUTERS)
Anti-abortionist James Kopp is escorted from his trial in Buffalo, N.Y. in March of 2003. (GARY WIEPERT/REUTERS)

The tipster, the police and the unpaid reward Add to ...

“Jack, what I am hoping to do is to accommodate you, by providing you an opportunity to give us the information that you have. We are not turning down an opportunity to take your information, if you choose to give it to us,” Supt. Cantera states in a Jan. 31 e-mail to Mr. Steele. “The problem that we have is that you are not willing to provide it to us without the RCMP making some form of commitment to get you the monies which you feel are owed to you. …No one within the RCMP will have the ability … to get access to the monies you are seeking. I am sorry about that fact, but I must be honest.”

Supt. Cantera did offer the possibility of a reward for information on the Gisby drug cartel, but he also warned that RCMP rules would apply and added: “Somehow I doubt you will accept these rules.” The letter did not go into detail about the rules.

Mr. Steele said he can’t trust the RCMP to pay a new reward if they won’t discuss the old one.

“I told Brian, you know, I don’t want a penny or dollar more or less … just give me what I am entitled to,” he said.

Supt. Cantera did not return calls. Sergeant Sodi Dhillon of the RCMP’s Greater Vancouver drug section confirmed Mr. Steele had been “talking to a bunch of different police officers.” But he declined to say more.

“Because this is an active investigation, I can’t make any comments,” he said.

Although he refused to give his real name, Mr. Steele verified his claims by providing e-mail chains between himself, the RCMP in B.C. and the FBI, and through tape recordings of conversations he had with Canadian members of the National Task Force on the doctor shootings. Winnipeg police confirmed the authenticity of e-mails between Mr. Steele and one of their officers, now retired, who was on the task force at the time. And Jim Popkin, a former NBC News producer, said he dealt with Mr. Steele while working on the Kopp story, and confirmed with FBI sources that he had provided the tip that led to Mr. Kopp’s arrest.

Asked if he had given up hope of ever getting the Kopp reward money from Canada, Mr. Steele replied: “Intellectually, I have given up, but emotionally I’m feeling there’s some sort of light at the end of somewhere.”

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