A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted four California men on charges connected to violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters last year in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The four defendants — Benjamin Drake Daley, 25, of Redondo Beach, Thomas Walter Gillen, 24, of Redondo Beach, Michael Paul Miselis, 29, of Lawndale, and Cole Evan White, 24, of Clayton, California — were arrested on federal criminal complaints in the early morning hours of Oct. 2.
The indictment, filed in federal court in Virginia, charges each defendant with one count each of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act and traveling across state lines to participate in or incite a riot.
Prosecutors allege that Daley, Gillen, Miselis and White are members of a white-supremacist organization known as the Rise Above Movement. The group frequently posted photographs and videos of themselves engaging in physical training and mixed martial arts street-fighting techniques, prosecutors contend.
The indictment alleges that in March 2017, Daley, Gillen, Miselis and Cole traveled to multiple political rallies and organized demonstrations in Virginia and California where they engaged in acts of violence. Those rallies include a March 25, 2017 event in Huntington Beach and an April 15, 2017 event in Berkeley.
In addition, the indictment charges Daley, Gillen, Miselis, and Cole with committing acts of violence during both the August 11, 2017 torch-lit rally on the grounds of the University of Virginia and the Unite the Right Rally the following day in the vicinity of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia.
All four defendants made their initial appearances in federal court in California last week and are expected to be transferred to Virginia, where they will appear for arraignment and additional proceedings within the next two weeks, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.