Self-described “right-wing extremist nut” Jordan Jereb was led away in handcuffs from his mother’s home Wednesday after the FBI combed for evidence regarding misinformation he gave about Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz last month.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Jereb was arrested on charges of violation of probation, which stemmed from a 2016 charge of extortion by threats.
After Cruz, 19, opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, killing 17, Jereb alleged that Cruz had trained with his right-wing paramilitary group, “Republic of Florida.” He claimed the teen carpooled “with other ROF members” to participate in the training exercises in Tallahassee, adding that Cruz was “brought up” by member of the white nationalist group.
Jereb’s claims sparked a media firestorm that Cruz had ties to the white nationalist militia. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office quickly refuted the assertions, however, saying they found no connection between Cruz and the ROF.
“We’re still doing some work but we have no known ties between the ROF, Jordan Jereb or the Broward shooter,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Grady Jordan said.
Jereb, 22, later backtracked on his claims, calling the entire thing a “legit misunderstanding” and saying he received “a bunch of conflicting information” about the shooter. He added that his militia had multiple members named “Nikolas.”
On Wednesday, nearly a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement vehicles arrived at Jereb’s mother’s Tallahassee home, according to the newspaper. Officials walked out with several bagged items of evidence, including “tactical knives” and what appeared to be a desktop computer tower wrapped in plastic.
Jereb was arrested a short time later by Tallahassee police.
“I didn’t do anything wrong ” Jereb yelled to reporters as he was taken into custody, according to a local CBS affiliate. “I’m a good person.”