Two Sioux Falls men among 31 arrested on riot charges in Idaho
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (Dakota News Now) - Two South Dakota men are among the dozens of members of a white supremacist group who were arrested for planning to riot at a pride event in Idaho, authorities say.
Forty-year-old James Johnson and 24-year-old Derek Smith, both of Sioux Falls, were arrested along with 29 other suspects Saturday in Coeur d’Alene, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say the 31 men are members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front. They were found packed into the back of a U-Haul truck with riot gear. The men were standing inside the truck wearing khakis, navy blue shirts and beige hats with white balaclavas covering their faces when Coeur d’Alene police stopped the U-Haul and began arresting them on the side of the road.
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White says “they came to riot downtown,” where an LGBTQ+ pride event was planned Saturday. White says all 31 were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor.
The men are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. Authorities say they came from at least 11 states, including South Dakota.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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