3 more Patriot Front members plead not guilty to conspiracy to riot charges
COEUR D’ALENE, ID. — Three more members of a white nationalist group pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to riot charges on Monday.
This comes as 31 people associated with the white nationalist group Patriot Front were arrested in Coeur d’Alene in June. The 31 people were found in the back of a U-Haul near a Pride celebration in the area. Court documents indicate that the members had riot gear and outlining plans to confront the near CDA pride event.
All three members who appeared in court on Monday — Branden Haney, Forrest Rankin and Garret Garland — attended Monday’s meeting via zoom. They will have pre-trial and jury trial dates set in the future.
When they come back for pre-trials, Judge John A. Cafferty made it clear that each person must meet in person.
Six other members pleaded not guilty to the same charges in mid-July. Conspiracy to Riot is a misdemeanor charge in Idaho. If found guilty, they could face: one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and/or 2 years probation.
The Western States Center, a civil rights advocacy organization, wants to see more accountabilty for political violence.
“Whenever there are inadequate consequences for criminal activity, white nationalists take it as a sign to escalate,” said Lindsay Schubiner, a program director for the Western States Center.
They sent a joint letter with other civil rights group around the nation to the Department of Justice, asking for a federal investigation into the hate group Patriot Front. Schubiner said it’s crucial in this case.
“Especially when white nationalists are crossing state lines to engage in bigoted political violence, the federal government really has a critical role to play,” she added.
The 31 members came from 11 different states to the Lake City.
City prosecutors had no comment for the judge during Monday’s hearing. As they prepare for trial, there’s a growing movement to help the city tackle the issue.
“It’s essential that localities receive state and federal support when taking on what is a serious national problem that threatens inclusive democracy itself.”
RELATED: 6 Patriot Front members plead not guilty to conspiracy to riot charges
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated six members of Patriot Front pleaded guilty.
COPYRIGHT 2022 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.