Four White Racists Arrested on Riot Charges

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CN) — Four members of a white supremacist group were arrested Tuesday and federally charged with conspiracy and rioting during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

The federal charges were unsealed Tuesday against four members of the Southern California-based Rise Above Movement, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center calls an explicitly racist and violent right-wing group.

Arrested and charged were Benjamin Drake Daley, 25, of Redondo Beach; Thomas Walter Gillen, 34, of Rondo Beach; Michael Paul Miselis, 29, of Lawndale; and Cole Evan White, 24, of Clayton, all in California. All are charged with conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and violating the federal riots statute, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

An FBI agent described the men in an affidavit as “among the most violent individuals present in Charlottesville on Aug. 11-12, 2017.”

James Alex Fields Jr., 21, was federally charged with 28 counts of hate crimes and attempts to kill and one county of racially motivated interference with a federally protected activity.

Fields, of Ohio, also was charged in Virginia state court with the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer, 32, a counter-protester. His trial is set for November.

Many of the white racists, protesting the removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, carried Confederate flags and shouted slogans such as “Jews will not replace us,” and the Nazi slogan, “blood and soil.”

Two of the white supremacists have been convicted of maliciously wounding 20-year-old counter-protester DeAndre Harris, who is black. A jury recommended that Jacob Scott Goodwin be sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Alex Michael Ramos be sentenced to six years.

The Republican Party has chosen Charlottesville for its 2020 national convention.

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