CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Four members of a militant white supremacist group from California have been arrested on charges that they traveled to Virginia last year to incite a riot and attack counterprotesters.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says the men are part of the “Rise Above Movement” and attended a torch-lit rally on Aug. 11 at UVA and then the Unite the Right Rally on Aug. 12 where they committed “multiple acts of violence” against counterprotesters.
Those arrested Tuesday morning and charged with conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and one count of violating the federal riots statue, are:
- Cole Evan White
- Benjamin Drake Daley
- Michael Paul Miselis
- Thomas Walter Gillen
“The four defendants traveled to Charlottesville ... with the intent to encourage, promote, incite, participate in, and commit violent acts in a futherance of a riot,” the Department of Justice said in a news release.
Complaints against the four suspects say they committed multiple acts of violence against counterprotesters, “which in some cases resulted in serious injuries.”
The defendants will be making initial court appearances in California on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Federal officials said Tuesday that the charges carry up to a combined 10 years in prison.
During that August weekend, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 other people were injured as a car plowed into one of the crowds.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, faces a first-degree murder charge in that case.
Two Virginia State Police personnel were killed in a helicopter crash when they were headed to the area to help.
Lt. H. Jay Cullen of Midlothian and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton died on the scene near Charlottesville.
A year after the attacks, Unite the Right Rally organizer Jason Kessler held protests in Washington, D.C., but ended early as his group was outnumbered by counter protesters.