A Kootenai County grand jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Michael Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty after about an hour of deliberation.
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Five members of the white nationalist Patriotic Front group were convicted Thursday of a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to riot at a Pride event.
A Kootenai County grand jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Michael Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty after about an hour of deliberation, news agencies reported.
A total of 31 Patriotic Front members, including one identified as the founder, have arrested June 11, 2022after someone reported seeing people loading up a U-Haul truck resembling “a small army” in a hotel parking lot in Coeur d’Alene, police said.
Police found riot gear, smoke grenades, shin guards and a fender inside the truck after towing it near where the Northern Idaho Pride Alliance was holding a Pride event in the Park, Police Chief Coeur d’Alene Lee White said.
Documents found with the group are said to have outlined a plan to form a column outside City Park and move inside, “until the barriers to access are met.” Once “the appropriate amount of confrontational momentum has been established,” the column will leave and head down Sherman Avenue.
Those arrested come from at least 11 states, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia and Arkansas.
Rioting is generally a misdemeanor in Idaho. Conspiracy to riot is punishable by up to a year in prison, as well as a $5,000 fine and up to two years of probation. The five men are expected to be sentenced on Friday.
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