PICTURED: 31 members of Patriot Front white supremacy group arrested for planning a riot at Idaho Pride as attorney defends them saying 'even if you don't like the speech, they have the right to make it'
The identities of 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front were arrested near an Idaho pride event after they were found packed into the back of a U-Haul truck with riot gear. The arrests included a man one identified as the group's founder. They were arrested after a tipster described the group looking like 'a little army' at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d´Alene, Idaho, police said. LGBTQ advocates said Sunday that polarization and a fraught political climate are putting their community increasingly at risk.Among those booked into jail on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot was Thomas Ryan Rousseau of Grapevine, Texas, who has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the 23-year-old who founded the group after the deadly 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. No attorney was immediately listed for him and phone numbers associated with him went unanswered Sunday.Also among the arrestees was Mitchell F. Wagner, 24, of Florissant, Missouri, who was previously charged with defacing a mural of famous black Americans on a college campus in St. Louis last year. Michael Kielty, Wagner's attorney, said Sunday that he had not been provided information about the charges. He said Patriot Front did not have a reputation for violence and that the case could be a First Amendment issue. 'Even if you don't like the speech, they have the right to make it,' he said. The remaining people arrested were: Jared M. Boyce, Nathan D. Brenner, Colton M. Brown, Josiah D. Buster, Mishael J. Buster, Devin W. Center, Dylan C. Corio, Winston W. Durham, Garret J. Garland, Branden M. Haney, Richard J. Jessop, James M. Johnson, James J. Johnson, Kieran P. Morris, Lawrence A. Norman, Justin M. Oleary, Cameron K. Pruitt, Forrest C. Rankin, Conor J. Ryan, Spencer T. Simpson, Alexander N. Sisenstein, Derek J. Smith, Dakota R. Tabler, Steven D. Tucker, Wesley E. Van Horn, Nathaniel T. Whitfield, Robert B. Whitted, Graham J. Whitsom, Connor P. Moran. All 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor, after police received reports from residents who spotted the 'little army' getting inside the vehicle around 1.38 p.m., local news station KREM2 reported.
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