April 27, 2011 in City

Man says brother victim of setup

Suspect’s pretrial hearing is reset for later this week
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The man who boasted online about taking part in racist protests of taco trucks in Coeur d’Alene and now faces an illegal weapons charge was the victim of government entrapment, his brother says.

Jeremiah Daniel “J.D.” Hop, 29, was set up earlier this month by an FBI informant who suggested the two of them go shooting and even supplied the shotgun that federal authorities now accuse him of illegally possessing, said Michael Hop, the suspect’s younger brother. The elder sibling has a previous felony conviction, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.

“The FBI took him out shooting and then arrested him,” Michael Hop said. “If an informant hands you a gun and asks you to shoot it, that’s entrapment in my book.”

Frank Harrill, supervisory senior resident agent of the Spokane office of the FBI, declined to respond to Michael Hop’s claims.

J. D. Hop was in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing that was eventually postponed until later this week.

It’s unclear whether Hop’s involvement in the taco truck protests had any part in drawing FBI interest, but Michael Hop said his brother was participating in those demonstrations at the request of the community.

The taco truck protests started after girls who work at a nearby coffee stand claimed they were harassed by the Latino men operating the taco trucks, Michael Hop said. Hop’s older brother is not a member of the Aryan Nations or Ku Klux Klan but the brothers do know a man who is associated with the KKK.

“We grew up in California,” Michael Hop said. “We know what it’s going to look like if they keep coming up here.”


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