For more than a year, Sandpoint has been plagued by racist propaganda, including flyers targeting city leaders, CDs left on cars in a high school parking lot and anonymous letters mailed to minorities. Police now believe they have found a man responsible for some of that, although it’s unlikely the hateful speech will get him charged with a crime. The same man, Scott D. Rhodes, also has captured the interest of police in Alexandria, Virginia, a home base of influential white supremacist Richard Spencer.
Alexandria investigators asked Sandpoint police for help after Alexandria city leaders began receiving threatening, anti-Semitic phone calls last fall, according to a Sandpoint police report. Investigators determined that one of those calls was a recording of Adolf Hitler and traced the phone number to Rhodes and one of his Idaho-registered business entities. You can read a full report here at spokesman.com.
Sandpoint police say Rhodes, 49, was captured on surveillance video pulling into the parking lot of Sandpoint High School and leaving CDs on the windshields of 56 vehicles on Nov. 30. Each disc was in a protective sleeve labeled “What They Are Hiding From You” and promoted a website that traffics in racism and far-right conspiracies. Rhodes also is suspected of harassing a local businessman with racial epithets; he appears to have moved to Sandpoint about a year ago.
The Sandpoint Reader and the Bonner County Daily Bee published police body-cam footage, obtained through public records requests, of Sandpoint Police confronting Rhodes about his activities a day after he was caught on camera distributing the CDs at the local high school.