A federal grand jury in Virginia returned an indictment Wednesday against four California men for conspiring to riot at last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia announced.
The men are Benjamin Drake Daley, 25, and Thomas Walter Gillen 24, both of Redondo Beach, California, and Michael Paul Miselis, 29, of Lawndale, California, and Cole Evan White, 24, of Clayton, California.
Each defendant has been charged with one count of violating the federal riots act and one count of engaging in interstate commerce to riot. The men flew from California to Charlottesville “with the intent to incite a riot, organize, promote, encourage, participate in, and carry on in a riot,” prosecutors said.
If convicted, all four could face up to 10 years in prison.
All four were arrested in California on Oct. 2.
The men participated in the torch-lit march on the campus of the University of Virginia on August 11, 2017, which ended in Violence. The next morning, they headed to the Unite the Right rally at Emancipation Park, where they “incited, promoted or encouraged” a riot, the indictment said.
At a press conference last week to announce their arrests, Thomas Cullen, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said the men committed “multiple acts of violence, including punching, kicking, head-butting and pushing numerous people.”
The four had carried out violence in before, including rallies in the California cities of Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
All four are members or associates a white supremacist organization known as Rise Above Movement, or RAM. The group openly identifies as alt-rights and nationalists and promotes itself as the premier mixed martial arts club of the Alt-Right.
The four made their initial appearance in a California court last week. Mr. Daley and Mr. Gillen have been remanded to the U.S. Marshals Service for the Western District of Virginia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Miselis was released on secured bond, but the government has appealed his release. Mr. White’s detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.
All four are expected to be transferred to Virginia within the next two weeks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Wednesday’s indictment is the second to emerge from the Charlottesville rally. In June, James Fields Jr., of Maumee Ohio was charged with federal hate crimes and stands accused of driving a car into a crowd of counter-protestors killing Heather Heyer.
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