Sunday, December 03, 2023

Patriot Front member pleads guilty to disturbing the peace

Hagadone News Network | November 30, 2022 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A man accused of planning to violently disrupt a Pride celebration in Coeur d’Alene City Park will serve no jail time after pleading guilty to disturbing the peace.

Alexander N. Sisenstein, 27, of Midvale, Utah, entered a written guilty plea Monday to the misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. He was originally charged with conspiracy to riot, also a misdemeanor.

Spokane attorney Jason Johnson appeared in court on Sisenstein’s behalf.

Judge Mayli Walsh handed down the sentence recommended by Coeur d’Alene prosecutors: 180 days in jail with 179 days suspended and one day credit for time served, as well as two years of unsupervised probation. Sisenstein must also pay a $500 fine.

In his written guilty plea, Sisenstein acknowledged that he “maliciously and willfully” disturbed the peace and quiet of a neighborhood, family or person by “tumultuous or offensive conduct” or by “threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight or fighting.”

Sisenstein is among the 31 members of white nationalist hate group Patriot Front who were arrested June 11 in Coeur d’Alene while on their way to the Pride celebration in City Park.

Patriot Front broke off from the neo-Nazi organization Vanguard America, after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017. The group’s manifesto reportedly calls for the formation of a white ethnostate in the United States.

Police arrested the group just blocks from City Park, after a tipster reported seeing a “little army” with metal shields and other gear piling into the back of a U-Haul truck.

The men wore hats that were reinforced with hard plastic inserts and carried what police described as “tactical” medical kits, as well as radios, cameras, homemade shields and “abnormally long” metal flag poles.

The group also had a document detailing “call locations, primary checkpoints, drill times, prep times and observation windows,” as well as GPS coordinates for a drop point and two backup plans, according to court records.

The document outlined a plan to form a column outside City Park and proceed inward, “until barriers to approach are met.” At that point, the column would disengage and head down Sherman Avenue.

Sisenstein is the only Patriot Front defendant who has entered a guilty plea so far. Pretrial hearings for the remaining defendants are scheduled throughout December and January.

Coeur d’Alene Chief Criminal Deputy Attorney Wes Somerton declined to comment Monday on the resolution of the case.

He indicated that other cases stemming from the events of June 11 are in different stages in criminal court.

“We will not provide any additional information about case status for specific cases due to the sensitivity of negotiations and to help ensure fair trials for those who choose to seek such an avenue,” Somerton said via email.

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