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Police have identified more than 30 alleged members a group called Patriot Front who were found packed in the back of a U-Haul truck near an LGBTQ event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Saturday.
Authorities said the men had come from at least 11 different states, allegedly to riot at the North Idaho Pride Alliance’s Pride in the Park event, before a tipster reported seeing what looked like “a little army” filing into the vehicle at a hotel parking lot.
The Kootenai Couny Sheriff’s Office identified the suspects as Jared Boyce, Nathan Brenner, Colton Brown, Josiah Buster, Mishael Buster, Devin Center, Dylan Corio, Winston Durham, Garret Garland, Branden Haney, Richard Jessop, James Julius Johnson, James Michael Johnson, Connor Moran, Kieran Morris, Lawrence Norman, Justin O’Leary, Cameron Pruitt, Forrest Rankin, Thomas Rousseau, Conor Ryan, Spencer Simpson, Alexander Sisenstein, Derek Smith, Dakota Tabler, Steven Tucker, Wesley Van Horn, Mitchell Wagner, Nathaniel Whitfield, Graham Whitsom and Robert Whitted.
IDAHO POLICE ARREST DOZENS ON SUSPICION OF CONSPIRACY TO RIOT AT GAY PRIDE EVENT
Michael Kielty, Wagner’s attorney, told the Associated Press Sunday that the group is nonviolent and that members have First Amendment rights to free speech.
“Even if you don’t like the speech, they have the right to make it,” he said.
Police also arrested Thomas Rousseau, 24, who is the Patriot Front’s founder, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The men have been charged with misdemeanor conspiracy to riot. Police said they found a smoke grenade and protective gear, including shields and shin guards, in the group’s possession. They were scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
The entire group had bonded out by Monday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspects’ future court dates were not immediately available.
The ADL describes Patriot Front as a Texas-based “White supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.”
Patriot Front is known for its online presence and for holding “flash demonstrations,” unannounced rallies in which members march in khakis and blue or white shirts, often wearing masks, according to the ADL. Photos show that the suspects were wearing similar outfits when they were arrested.
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Separately, police were also investigating a possible indecent exposure incident at the Pride in the Park event, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.