LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Four alleged members of a militant Southern California white supremacist group were indicted by a federal grand jury today for allegedly inciting violence against counter-protesters, journalists and a police officer at political rallies in California and Charlottesville, Virginia.
The defendants -- Robert Rundo, Tyler Laube, Robert Boman and Aaron Eason -- were charged in the indictment with one count each of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act. Additionally, Rundo, Boman and Eason were charged with traveling across state lines to participate in or incite a riot. Both the conspiracy and riots charges carry sentences of up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The four defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment later this month, starting with Rundo on Nov. 9. A detention hearing is set for Eason on Friday before a magistrate judge in downtown Los Angeles. Prosecutors allege the men -- suspected of membership in the so-called Rise Above Movement -- organized or participated in violence at rallies in Huntington Beach and Berkeley, and are suspected of provoking the deadly riot in Charlottesville during last year's Unite the Right march. All four are in federal custody without bond.
Last month, federal authorities arrested Benjamin Daley, one of the alleged founders of RAM, and three others for their suspected role in the violence. The four were indicted in Charlottesville, where they are awaiting trial. A criminal complaint filed earlier in Los Angeles describes the allegations against Rundo, 28, of Huntington Beach; Laube, 22, of Redondo Beach; Boman, 25, of Torrance; and Eason, 38, of the Riverside County community of Anza.
According to the document:-- At the Huntington Beach ``Make America Great Again'' rally on March 25, 2017, members of RAM broke off from the main rally and confronted counter-protesters, where Rundo, Boman and Laube allegedly attacked a number of people, including two journalists.
-- In the weeks that followed, RAM members allegedly celebrated the attacks, which were noted on a neo-Nazi website, and solicited others to attend an upcoming rally in Berkeley, as well as combat training at a park in San Clemente.
-- At the Berkeley rally on April 15, 2017, Rundo, Boman and Eason were allegedly involved in violent attacks, which resulted in Rundo being arrested after punching a ``defenseless person'' and a Berkeley police officer.
-- In the subsequent months, RAM members allegedly celebrated the assaults in Berkeley, which included Boman posting photos of himself attacking people, and RAM members engaging in combat training.
-- On June 10, 2017, Rundo and other RAM members attended an ``Anti-Islamic Law'' rally in San Bernardino, where they allegedly participated in violent attacks. The indictment Thursday follows the filing of charges in Charlottesville last month against Daley, 25, of Redondo Beach; Thomas Walter Gillen, 24, also of Redondo Beach; Michael Paul Miselis, 29, of Lawndale; and Cole Evan White, 24, of Clayton, California.
Prosecutors allege that RAM and its members documented and promoted their white supremacy ideology through postings on various internet platforms and through graffiti, including tags found in Irvine. In a video posted online earlier this year and described in the complaint, Rundo said he was ``a big supporter of the fourteen,'' which is a reference to the ``14 words,'' a slogan used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis that reads:
``We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.''This past spring, suspected RAM leader Rundo and two of the men charged in the Charlottesville case traveled to Europe to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday and to meet with members of other white supremacy extremist groups, according to the complaint.