COUER D’ALENE, Idaho (WHNT) — A Lauderdale County man was among 31 men arrested on Saturday near a pride event in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, according to local officials.
31 masked and uniformed members of a group called “Patriot Front” were arrested over the weekend. Wesley Evan Van Horn, of Lexington, was among those booked into the Kootenai County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Office.
Couer d’Alene Police (CDAP) said the men, who were packed inside a U-Haul, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to riot during a “Pride in the Park” event. Police found riot gear, a smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van, according to CDAP Chief Lee White.
The men were wearing matching outfits of khaki pants, dark blue shirts, masks and baseball caps.
Based on evidence collected and documents, White said they determined that the group was planning to riot in several areas of downtown, not just the park.
In that same news conference, Chief White said someone had called police about the U-Haul, who said, “it looked like a little army was loading up into the vehicle” in the parking lot of a hotel. Officials spotted the truck soon after and pulled it over, according to White said.
Those arrested came from at least 12 states, officials said, including Alabama, Washington, Arkansas, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming. Only one of the men was from Idaho.
Patriot Front is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a white nationalist hate group” that formed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
In a news conference following the arrest, Chief White said all 31 men were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor. The men are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, White said.