Four men from California have been arrested and charged with rioting in connection to the deadly Unite The Right rally held last year in Charlottesville, Virgnia.
On Tuesday, Benjamin Drake Daley, 25, Thomas Walter Gillen, 34, Michael Paul Miselis, 29, and Cole Evan White, 24, were all arrested in California, where they reside, by federal agents. Each suspect has been charged for violating the federal riots statute, as well as conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute.
According to NPR, prosecutors have accused the men of flying to Virginia “with the intent to encourage, promote, incite, participate in, and commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot.”
“These four committed particularly violent acts in Charlottesville,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said during a news conference. “They committed violent acts in California, at other rallies. Therefore, in our view they were essentially serial rioters.”
The men are accused of committing violence at rallies in Huntington Beach, Berkely, and San Bernardino in their home state.
On the East Coast, Cullen said that the men participated in the tiki torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus on Aug. 11, 2017. On their way to the Unite the Right rally the next morning, the four “with their hands taped and ready to do street battle…committed multiple acts of violence, including punching, kicking, head-butting and pushing numerous people.”
The men are reportedly members of Rise Above Movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a “racist fight club.” If convicted, they each face up to 10 years in prison.
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