Man who led Tallahassee Patriot Front training charged in Idaho mass arrest
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A suspected hate group known to have trained in Tallahassee made national headlines over the weekend.
Authorities say Patriot Front was planning to spark a riot at a Pride parade in Idaho Saturday. Thirty members of the group were in the back of a U-Haul when a concerned citizen called 911, leading to the mass arrest.
Each member was charged with misdemeanor Criminal Conspiracy.
Morgan Moon is a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism. She said one of the men arrested led a training session in Tallahassee back in October.
WCTV previously reported the training at Lafayette Park and Lake Talquin following the leak of video by the group Unicorn Riot.
Moon said analysis of the mugshots taken over the weekend and that video clearly shows Wesley Van Horn leading the Tallahassee group. Horn is a regional leader in the group, Moon said. She added this is the first confirmed identification of a Patriot Front member who attended that training
Moon said she wasn’t aware of any one else from that training getting arrested in Idaho.
The group likely only has a few hundred members, Moon said. But they try to make it seem bigger.
“Only one of them was from Idaho. That shows the significance- and that was the same thing in Tallahassee,” Moon said. “We had people traveling from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee... and so when these events happen they’re not always representative of the community itself. They want to show this outreach, that they are behind every corner, that there is a huge presence there. But in reality that is not actually the case.”
Moon said she wouldn’t consider the group prone to violence. Instead, they focus heavily on spreading propaganda disguised as patriotism. They often co-opt peaceful protests or parades, as they were likely planning to do in Idaho.
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