The SPLC’s HateWatch report:
It started out as a gag on alt-right and racist websites: The idea that someone should claim credit for Nikolas Cruz after he was charged with killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Republic of Florida leader Jordan Jereb took the joke into the real world, telling news outlets that he trained Cruz and describing him as a member of his small group. Police were not amused. Jereb, a 23-year-old from Tallahassee who lives with his mother, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the Leon County Jail. He’s charged with knowingly making a false report to law enforcement.
The FBI used Jereb’s remarks about Cruz as the basis for a search warrant on his home on April 2. While there, agents removed computers, documents, cellphones and two KA 6 tactical knives. Jereb, who has multiple arrests on his record, has been in the Leon County, Florida, Jail since the search turned up the knives. The conditions of Jereb’s probation stemming from a previous extortion case barred him from having any weapons, including knives.