Dozens of Masked Men Arrested for Conspiracy to Riot Near Idaho Pride Event

·2 min read

A group of suspected white nationalists were arrested this weekend, after they were found packed inside a U-Haul near an Idaho Pride event.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department were notified about the vehicle on Saturday afternoon, during the cities “Pride in the Park” festivities. A “concerned citizen” told authorities they had witnessed 20 or so masked men get inside the van while carrying shields. Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said the caller described the group as a “little army.”

Police stopped the U-Haul downtown about 10 minutes after receiving the call. White told reporters there were 31 people inside the vehicle, all of whom were wearing similar attire and equipped with riot gear, including shields and at least one smoke grenade. All 31 men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to riot.

Authorities believe the suspects are members of Patriot Front, a far-right group known for its white supremacist and neo-fascist ideologies. Authorities said some of the men were donning logos and insignias associated with the hate group.

At the time of the press conference, White confirmed the men had come from at least 11 different states, including Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, and Washington.

“It is clear to us—based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession, and the U-Haul with them, along with the paperwork that was seized from them—they came to riot downtown,” White said, adding that additional charges may be filed.

White went on to thank the citizen who notified police about the suspicious activity, as well as the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and FBI for assisting in the arrests. The suspects are expected to make their first court appearances on Monday.

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