Local leader of white nationalist group arrested in Idaho

Colton Michael Brown was allegedly planning to riot at a Coeur d’Alene Pride event.

Colton Michael Brown, 23, of Ravensdale

Colton Michael Brown, 23, of Ravensdale

A Ravensdale man with ties to the white nationalist group Patriot Front was arrested in Idaho last week for allegedly planning a riot at a Coeur d’Alene Pride event.

Colton Michael Brown, 23, was officially charged with criminal conspiracy, a misdemeanor, on June 11; his case is being heard in the Kootenai County Magistrate Court.

Brown was one of 31 men from around the country who packed themselves into a U-Haul truck in order to allegedly riot at the Pride in the Park event at City Park. Police were tipped off when someone spotted the group getting ready in a hotel parking lot, describing what they saw as “like a little army”.

According to court documents, police found a smoke grenade, riot gear, and paperwork that appeared to lay out a military-style operation.

Brown appears to be highly involved in Patriot Front, a hate group that split from Vanguard America after the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In January, a massive data leak of Patriot Front photos, videos, audio, and online chats was published by Unicorn Riot, a nonprofit, left-wing news organization. An analysis done by its reporters supposedly connects Brown to the online alias “John WA”, the Pacific Northwest “Network 8” director.

As director, Brown appeared to be in charge of organizing and leading meetings and trainings, coordinating vandalism missions, and encouraging other members to buy Patriot Front propaganda from their founder, Thomas Rousseau, who was also arrested in Idaho.

This is not the first time Brown has been investigated by law enforcement.

The King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force were made aware of Brown posting Patriot Front stickers in the Maple Valley area in summer 2020. A misdemeanor charge for malicious mischief was forwarded to the city of Maple Valley, but the city later dropped the charges.

Patriot Front propaganda started to appear around Enumclaw’s downtown area January 2020, mostly on the back of street signs, light poles, or electrical boxes. This reporter has documented more than 200 stickers and flyers being put up around town since then. Who has been placing the stickers around town is unknown.

Brown was released on bail; his first appearance is set for Aug. 22.

He declined to comment for this article.


Patriot Front is labeled a white supremacist/white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, and its manifesto calls for white Americans to create a “new American Nation State”.

“Membership within the American nation is inherited through blood, not ink. Even those born in America may yet be foreign. Nationhood cannot be bestowed upon those who are not of the founding stock of our people, and those who do not share the common spirit that permeates our greater civilization, and the European diaspora,” it reads. “The nation will see the thin veneer of civilization begin to wane as the current plutocracy diverts the toils of Americans to extranational masses. The same population that has been imported to supersede the nation will then be enslaved upon our ashes. Those of our people in witness to this orchestrated tragedy will be compelled towards the only body whose vision of the future includes them.”

Much of the language used in the manifesto, and by members like Brown, echoes what’s known as the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, which states that non-whites are being brought into the U.S. to “replace” white voters and ultimately wipe out the “white race”.

“White Americans are becoming second class citizens in their own country. Denied medical care for being white. Denied scholarships for being white. Denied government assistance for being white,” John WA posted on RocketChat in November 2021. “That’s white privilege. Our hard earned tax dollars go to making a better life for our replacements.”

The conspiracy theory has been linked to several racially-motivated mass shootings, including the 2018 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue shooting where 11 were killed; the 2019 El Paso, Texas Walmart slaying where 23 were shot down; the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand mosque massacre where 51 died; and, most recently, the 2022 Buffalo, New York Tops slaughter where 10 people were gunned down.