The self-proclaimed leader of the white nationalist group Republic of Florida, who claimed at one point that his group trained alleged school shooter Nikolas Cruz, has been arrested.
Jordan Jereb’s Tallahassee home, which is reportedly owned by his mother, was raided Wednesday morning and Jereb was taken away in handcuffs.
As he was led to a patrol car he reportedly yelled, "I didn't do anything wrong! I'm a good person,” according to WTXL in Midway, Florida. Authorities could be seen removing several bags of evidence as well as a computer wrapped in plastic.
Jereb, 23, was arrested for violation of probation for a 2016 extortion by threats charge, which he pleaded no contest to, according to The Tallahassee Democrat. His home was searched for evidence after he allegedly gave misinformation about Cruz, the man accused of killing 17 people during the Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Hours after the deadly shooting, Jereb told the Anti-Defamation League that Cruz 19, was "brought up" into the group by one of its members. Cruz participated in paramilitary drills with the Republic of Florida and was also reportedly trained by the group, according to Jereb’s initial claims. However, he later recanted those claims and told The Associated Press that he didn’t know Cruz personally. He said that the alleged shooter "he acted on his own behalf" and is "solely responsible for what he just did." Last month, local law enforcement said they didn’t find a connection between Cruz and Jereb’s group.
Two days before his arrest, Jereb posted this video to his YouTube account. As a warning, it contains offensive and hateful language.
The Republic of Florida refers to itself as "a white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics." On their website, they claim their "current short-term goals are to occupy urban areas to recruit suburban young whites" for "the ultimate creation of a white ethnostate." The group is reportedly only a few years old, said CBS News.
A training video posted by the hate group features members in camouflage saluting each other. The lyrics of the music used in that footage sing, “They call me Nazi / and I'm proud of it."
[Photo: Leon County Sheriff’s Department]