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Six suspects in Coeur d'Alene hate group arrests plead not guilty to conspiracy to riot

Six men arrested along with 25 others tied to a hate group are expected in court on charges of planning to start a riot at a Coeur d'Alene Pride event.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Six men with ties to a white nationalist hate group appeared in court on Monday for their role in an alleged planned riot in downtown Coeur d'Alene in June.

All six men pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to riot.

The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine and/or two years probation. 

Police arrested them alongside 25 others on charges of planning to start a riot at a pride celebration in Coeur d’Alene last month. The men were found hiding in the back of a U-haul, stopped just blocks from the event.

Among the six men scheduled to appear on Monday are two brothers with ties to the Inland Northwest.

Kootenai County court documents identify Mishael Buster, 23, as a suspect who lives at a Hillyard address in Spokane. It lists another suspect, Josiah Buster, who appears to be his older brother, but lives in Texas. Neither has a criminal history.

In a parcel search on the Spokane County assessor's website, it lists Matt and Diane Buster as the property owners of the address Mishael Buster gave Coeur d'Alene police. It appears they too may be related.

Another suspect from Washington, Justin Michael O’Leary of Des Moines is also scheduled in court on Monday.

RELATED: Here are the names and photos of 31 arrested for conspiracy to riot in Coeur d'Alene

The hearings are scheduled for 1 p.m. KREM 2 News has learned that a judge granted a request from the suspects to appear virtually via Zoom. During today's court appearance, the judge is expected to read the men their rights and they will then enter a plea. 

KREM 2 News will share updates after their appearances. 

According to Idaho statutes, conspiracy to riot is punishable by up to a year in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

The six men are the first to have court dates scheduled in the case. The other 25 men have court dates scheduled throughout the month of August.

Kootenai County court documents detail how much planning and coordination went into the group's attempt to riot.

According to court documents, Thomas Rousseau, the founder of Patriot Front, told officers he "traveled to Coeur d'Alene to peacefully exercise his First Amendment rights." Another suspect told police he traveled a long way for the cause and said, "We go where we are needed."

Coeur d'Alene police found several typed documents on Rousseau's person. One document discussed the group being there to "raise a voice against the moral depravity, which permits events such as this to take place," referencing the Pride event.

Another document outlined call locations, primary checkpoints, drill times, prep times and observation windows. Court documents say it also listed GPS coordinates for a drop point with two backup plans. It references using smoke and an exit strategy is outlined as, "Once an appropriate amount of time and confrontational dynamic has been established."

WATCH MORE: The men from Washington and Idaho arrested in Coeur d'Alene

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