News conference on Idaho arrests related to white nationalist group

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Coeur d’Alene police and the city’s mayor will share an update at noon MT/11 a.m. PT Monday following the arrest of 31 men with ties to the white nationalist hate group, Patriot Front.

The men were arrested on Saturday afternoon, blocks away from the Pride at the Park event. Police found the 31 men hiding inside a U-haul truck, after someone spotted them loading up and called to report what “looked like a little army.”

Police said they recovered evidence that the group was planning to riot in downtown Coeur d’Alene. All 31 men were arrested on charges of conspiracy to riot.

Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White and Mayor Jim Hammond will give an update on the arrests at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday. You can watch the news conference live on KREM.com, KREM 2’s YouTube page, and streaming on KREM2+.

On Sunday, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office released the identities of the men who were arrested. It includes Thomas Rousseau, who several national news outlets have reported is the Patriot Front Founder.

Court appearances were scheduled for Monday afternoon for each of the 31 men, but KREM 2 confirmed Monday morning that all men will not appear since they bonded out. All 31 men have until June 30 to contact the court and set up a court date.

Those arrested come from 12 states, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Michigan, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Illinois, and Arkansas.

The evidence police collected from the U-haul included shields, protective equipment, at least one smoke grenade, and details about the group’s plan to riot.

The New York Times reports that the leader of the group had a seven-page document that outlined their plan. The Times reports it included details about how smoke would be used: “a column forming on the outside of the park, proceeding inward, until barriers to approach are met” and “once an appropriate amount of confrontational dynamic has been established the column will disengage and head to Sherman.'”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that broke off from Vanguard America in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. During that event a young counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a member of the neo-Nazi group drove his car into the crowd.

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