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Two Sioux Falls Men Among 31 Arrested for Plot to Stage Riot at Idaho LGBT Festival

31 masked neo-Nazi goons kitted out for a street fight were pulled out of a U-Haul truck and arrested for conspiring to riot at an LGBT festival in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Saturday.

Police found riot gear, one smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van, White said. They wore arm patches and logos on their hats that identified them as members of Patriot Front, he said.

…“Reclaim America” was written on the back of one shirt.

…Those arrested came from at least 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia, and Arkansas, [Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee] White said.

…“Patriot Front focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said of the group.

The group’s manifesto calls for the formation of a white ethnostate in the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center said [Martha Bellisle, “31 Patriot Front Members Arrested near Idaho Pride Event,” AP via PBS, 2022.06.12].

Sally Jo Sorenson finds two Sioux Falls fellas among the Aryan crud. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office booking summary report for June 12 shows James Michael Johnson, age 40, of South Lewis Avenue and Derek Joseph Smith, age 24, of East 12th Street among the unwelcome mayhem enthusiasts.

Derek Smith, vacation photo, courtesy of Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, posted in Quinn Welsch, "Sheriff's Office Releases Names of 31 Patriot Front Members Arrested in Saturday Bust," Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2022.06.12.
Derek Joseph Smith, vacation photo, courtesy of Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, posted in Quinn Welsch, “Sheriff’s Office Releases Names of 31 Patriot Front Members Arrested in Saturday Bust,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2022.06.12.
James Michael Johnson, vacation photo, courtesy of Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, posted in Quinn Welsch, "Sheriff's Office Releases Names of 31 Patriot Front Members Arrested in Saturday Bust," Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2022.06.12.
James Michael Johnson, vacation photo, courtesy of Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, posted in Quinn Welsch, 2022.06.12.

Johnson, Smith, and their fellow criminal conspirators. The foiled rioters are out on $300 bond—conspiracy to riot is just a misdemeanor—but they have to show up for arraignment today and could face more charges. If Johnson and Smith are allowed to leave Idaho this week, folks might want to keep an eye out for this pair at the Sioux Falls Pride parade and festival this coming Saturday.

Related Viewing: North Idaho News got photos of some of the Patriot Front members walking around downtown Coeur d’Alene after posting bail.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-06-13 06:50

    Using links to the federal storming of Ruby Ridge in Idaho and the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing the extreme white wing of the Republican Party worships manuscripts like the Turner Diaries as prayers.

    Recall that during the second Obama term a group of armed thugs, including a retired Air Force master sergeant from South Dakota allied with mormon Cliven Bundy, occupied and ransacked not a courthouse but a national wildlife refuge in none other than Harney County, Oregon. The Ridiculous Right brands Black Lives Matter and Native American protesters unemployed slackers but a horde of Huns that takes over a federal facility to wait out the End Days and terrorizes Congress are called patriots.

  2. jim 2022-06-13 07:30

    When governors like DeSantis keep stirring up these radical brawlers – this is what you get.

    From NBC news June 9th:

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Wednesday that he might urge the state’s child protective services to investigate parents who take their children to drag shows. “We have child protective statutes on the books,” the governor said. “We have laws against child endangerment.”

    So, let’s look at that for a moment. Kids will typically see 10,000 or more murders on TV by adulthood. But Governor Nanny wants to report you to protective services – if you allow them to see a drag show? That’s right. A drag show.

    Flip Wilson was doing drag on national television. Fifty years ago!

  3. mike from iowa 2022-06-13 08:18

    If forcing 10 year old girls to carry a rapist/incest perp’s child to term is not child endangerment, child endangerment does not exist. Magats are effing insane monsters!

    magat militias have never been accused of being Einsteins.

  4. Nix 2022-06-13 09:03

    While it is good to identify these Dregs
    of society, it is absolutely no surprise
    that these assbutts were from Sioux Falls.
    As a matter of fact, these useful idiots
    are more prevalent here than most want to admit.
    Uneducated dangerous dumbasses.

  5. 96Tears 2022-06-13 09:22

    These two slackers may not be the anomaly, but the growing norm in Republican circles, as interpreted from an April survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tulchin Research of 1,500 respondents. An excerpt from its online report:
    We found that the ideas underpinning the white nationalist “great replacement” narrative recently cited by an alleged white supremacist terrorist in Buffalo, New York, have become thoroughly mainstream on the political right. Nearly 7 in 10 Republicans surveyed agree to at least some extent that demographic changes in the United States are deliberately driven by liberal and progressive politicians attempting to gain political power by “replacing more conservative white voters.” Across the political spectrum, we found substantial support for threatening or acting violently against perceived political opponents.

    We also uncovered a widespread feeling — especially among right-leaning Americans — that transgender people and “gender ideology” pose a threat to children and society at large. These anti-LGBTQ, misogynistic and racist narratives have been promoted by many Republican politicians and other powerful right-wing figures, helping the ideas infiltrate the mainstream and contributing to an increasingly volatile and dangerous political environment.
    This was a snapshot of respondents in late April. It’s now mid-June.

    I get the impression that this unleashing, normalizing and weaponizing of America’s Dark Side has gone beyond Trump and is itself a growing, stand-alone force that exists in every state. Fanned on by the rhetoric and weaponized legislation from mentally ill leaders like Governor Ron DeSantis and Governor Kristi Noem, life in the bubble is rapidly getting out of control. Other than the freedom marches of the Civil Rights movement of the 50s, 60s and 70s, when have you seen such ardor and willingness to put one’s self in harm’s way for a cause like you see with these fascists, Jan. 1 and other recent violent events? I believe the current debate on desperately needed gun control and mass murders have only hardened the resolve of these lunatics.

    If 70 percent of the GOP base — hell, if half of that number is so radicalized that they believe big lies like Great Replacement Theory, Trump’s claims of the 2020 election and gender ideology, then we may be a lot closer to a violent civil war than assumed.

  6. jim 2022-06-13 09:29

    They don’t scare me.

    My family and I will be attending the Pride Parade in Sioux Falls this Saturday. Thousands were there last year, even though it was raining.

    So far, no rain in the forecast for this year’s event. It will be awesome!

  7. Eve Fisher 2022-06-13 10:55

    Thanks to another site, which gave their addresses, Mr. Smith lives in the Third Avenue Lofts, which run between $1,050-$1,480 a month.
    Mr. Johnson lives in a very nice home in a subdivision near Cliff Avenue and 69th Street.
    These aren’t poor guys with a grievance. They’ve got money.

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-06-13 11:15

    Thanks for exposing these boys. They should be required to wear pink for their community service.
    In Coeur d’Alene non the less. A frenchy name for the native Americans who lived by the lake. They must like the scenery more than Sioux Falls. I wonder where they work? I don’t want to cancel the poor boys, just fire their grasses.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-13 13:09

    Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful town. I’ve always enjoyed visiting there. But northern Idaho and next-door Spokane have a lot of white supremacist activity.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-06-13 13:16

    Take time to consider the point that 96 makes. We have goons who will travel across the country, put on matching preppy thug uniforms, pack themselves into the back of a U-Haul truck, and execute a seven page plan to violently disrupt a peaceful public gathering. This is not simple bullying. This is a well-coordinated attack on public order. In crossing state lines to carry out this conspiracy, these thugs may have violated federal law which will put them in a bigger world of hurt.

    But these thugs are able to conceive of and justify such a violent plan because they have been radicalized by the violent rhetoric of main stream politicians. These thugs have let Republicans convince them that guys wearing dresses pose a grave threat to society.

    Think about that: these guys dress up for a street fight, complete with riot gear, yet they consider dudes in dresses dangerous.

  11. mike from iowa 2022-06-13 13:34

    these thugs may have violated federal law which will put them in a bigger world of hurt.Not likely to happen if they show up in front of drumpf appointed useless judges with life time paychecks.

  12. leslie 2022-06-13 14:35

    “Uneducated dangerous dumbasses.”

    So well said Nix!

    Koch’s billionaire influence embedded (like ticks) getting to young people in educational institutions in right wing states and law schools like Geo Mason Univ (VA, i think) so seditionists like Rhodes, leader of Proud Boys or Oathkeepers, actually graduated from Yale law school.

    Kristi dogwhistles what these dumbasses in Sx Falls want to see. Two grifter/con/criminals elected to high public office by Republicans misled by John Thune and his boss Mitch McConnell. There is no getting through to their followers. It is everywhere.

    Many of us saw it as early as 1980.

  13. leslie 2022-06-13 14:57

    I lived there three years and by 1980, saw it and recognized it for what it was, then.

    Trump and Noem. They are what it has become. Cliven Bundy started this most recent chapter of the Trump saga in Nevada, trying to avoid paying grazing fees.

    Kristi cant be smart. Thune can’t be smart. McConnell can’t be smart. Ideology over “common sense”!???

    Come on Rounds! Get smart!

    Naïve Dusty. Too late for you!! No soup!!!

  14. jim 2022-06-13 16:06

    That’s right, Leslie. “Kristi dogwhistles what these dumbasses in Sx Falls want to see.” And you can bet that trans bullying has notched higher in SD schools too, as a result of Noem’s demagoguery.

    But she wants that base to vote for her. It’s all that matters to her right now.


  15. Arlo Blundt 2022-06-13 16:48

    Let ’em roll…They are killing the Republican Party, formerly the Party of law and order, now, the Party of chaos and drunken disorder.

  16. DaveFN 2022-06-13 16:51

    Some aspect of this are downright comical.

    Guys who pack tighter than sardines into their U-Haul closet but are then “outed” by the police and later run around town proclaiming they are trying to “set the record *straight*.”

    Their homoeroticism is veiled only to themselves.

  17. mike from iowa 2022-06-13 16:52

    This link was supposed to be included in above post of mine…..

    Exclusive: Trump-loving judge compiles a shocking record of letting Capitol rioters off easy — with MAGA talking points

  18. larry kurtz 2022-06-13 18:09

    “‘At a press conference this hour, chief Lee White beat back against right wing conspiracy theories, “These were not law enforcement embedded, these were not Antifa…’ this was the Patriot Front, he continued.’” —Kirk Siegler, NPR

  19. John 2022-06-13 19:52

    Sioux Falls and SD law enforcement are waking up that, ‘gee, Barnie, we have domestic terrorists among us. Sure do, Ang.’
    This week another loser was videoed wearing a traitor confederate flag as a cape at a Sioux Falls suburban school event.

    Think of the deprivation of common sense in wasting $5/gallon gas to drive 2,000 miles round trip to protest nothing.

    These folks are clueless – as the clueless trumpers were revealed in today’s January 6th hearing. Trump used wire-fraud to bilk $250 million dollars from his maniacal supporters promising to fund his election law suits, but the money went in his pocket.

    The still posted trump signs scream, ‘I’m stupid!’, I’m gullible!’ and perhaps, ‘I’m in need of assisted living because I’m incapable of making rational decisions!’

    After 2 days of the January 6th Committee hearings one wonders what trump apologists – the snow queen, Moscow Thune, uninquisitive Mikey, and go-along howdy doody Johnson think of their lying criminal.

  20. John 2022-06-13 23:00

    Oh, the news from Idaho barely scratches the surface.
    “Just got off the phone with a source in LE. We narrowly avoided a massacre in Coeur d’Alene. The 31 Patriot Front (read: white supremacist fascists responsible for Charlottesville) were planning for massive violence, not just confrontation.
    The 31 PF members had blunt instrument weapons and were planning on bludgeoning people attending Pride. I’m told that most, if not all, also had concealed firearms. This was for dealing with anyone at who was armed, or fought back.
    What stopped them was two lucky breaks:
    1. A hotel employee who saw them saddling up, and called the police
    2. The Coeur d’Alene police didn’t side with PF, and took the call seriously. If they’d been in the tank w/PF (like in Kenosha) it would have been horrific.

    I’m told that (three) of the PF people are going to be charged with illegal firearms possession, because they were felons.
    I was worried about mass violence at Pride going into this.
    I was right. LE is monitoring a surge in RW “chatter” against LGBT people.
    I’ve been predicting for a while that as things deteriorate, groups like PF, 3 Percenters, Proud Boys, etc… will increasingly function as Sturmabteilung. This becomes increasingly possible as LE is infiltrated, or captured, by the right wing.
    Post-script: I’m also told that the PF members there had come from all over the region to participate. They’d been planning this in advance for a while, and were pulling people in from around the US. Not quite Unite the Right, but definitely coordinated / planned. ”
    @Brynn Tannehill

    We have a domestic terrorist problem.

  21. John 2022-06-14 06:04

    These are what domestic terrorists look like.
    “This is JUST like the 1930’s. The Holocaust Museum in New York did a great YouTube video about Trans people in 1930’s Germany starting to be visible and gain rights, and the book burning pushback. When fascism takes over, they go for the queers first.
    LBGT people are always the canaries in the coal mine. As soon as they start getting close to having the kind of rights that straight people have, they are first to get attacked. They start with the most vulnerable. Trans women and especially disabled or non white.

    [They can’t be allowed to live in peace] because then White Cis Christian men can’t get away with having power over anyone anymore. True democracy gives EVERYONE a voice. And they hate that. They have to be the big alpha dogs or they lash out.” (sic)

    Anti-trans folks, folks impeding free speech in academia like Noem act as enablers, sympathizers. Charlatan Trumpian acolytes like noem, Moscow Thune, Mikie, and Dust-up Johnson are on the wrong side of history. Liz Cheney and Adam Kitzinger stand tall.

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