AMMON — A 21-year-old Ammon man was arrested in northern Idaho over the weekend and is believed to be connected to a white supremacist group that allegedly had plans to disrupt an LGBTQ pride event.
Richard Jacob Jessop was one of 31 people arrested near Coeur d’Alene on Saturday.
Coeur d’Alene Police Department spokesman Jared Reneau confirmed with EastIdahoNews.com that two of the 31 people arrested on Saturday are from Idaho including Jessop and 21-year-old Winston Worth Durham from Genesee.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, officers received information that a large group of similarly dressed masked people armed with shields entered the back of a U-Haul van heading toward downtown Coeur d’Alene.
The documents said a concerned citizen described them as looking “like a little army.”
The van was stopped by officers and a total of 31 people were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit a riot, which is a misdemeanor.
“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession, the U-Haul with them along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said during a news conference. “I want to say for me personally, I don’t think this would have been as successful had we not one extremely astute citizen who saw something that was very concerning to them and reported it to us.”
Based on documents and evidence, authorities found that the group was planning to riot in several areas of downtown, not just the park where the pride event was taking place.
White said in the news conference that the group had shields, shin guards and other riot gear with them including at least one smoke grenade. It is believed the group of 31 people is part of the Patriot Front.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-hate organization, Patriot Front is a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else. Patriot Front participates in localized “flash demonstrations” across the nation.
As of Monday, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, all 31 people have bonded out of the county jail. Suspects are from all over the United States including Michigan, Texas, Alabama, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Illinois and Arkansas.
Jessop posted his $300 cash bond. According to court records, he is scheduled for an arraignment in Kootenai County Magistrate Court on July 18 at 2 p.m.
Durham is scheduled for an arraignment on August 1 at 1 p.m.