More than 30 accused Patriot Front members were discovered stuffed in the back of a U-Haul truck near an LGBTQ event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Saturday, according to police.
The guys allegedly came from at least 11 different states to riot at the North Idaho Pride Alliance’s Pride in the Park event, according to authorities, before a tipster reported seeing what appeared to be “a little army” filing into the van in a hotel parking lot.
The suspects were identified 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.
One attorney described the group as nonviolent and said 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 stated.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, police also arrested Thomas Rousseau, 24, the Patriot Front’s founder.
The males have been charged with conspiring to riot as a misdemeanor. A smoke grenade, as well as protective gear such as shields and shin guards, were discovered in the group’s hands, according to police. They were supposed to be in court on Monday.
According to the ADL, Patriot Front is a Texas-based “White supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.”
The Patriot Front is also known for its internet presence and “flash protests,” which are unannounced rallies in which members march in khakis and blue or white shirts, frequently wearing masks. The accused were photographed wearing similar clothing when they were apprehended.