Update, 1:00 p.m. Wed. Oct. 10: A federal grand jury has indicted four California men on conspiracy and rioting charges in connection with a torch-lit march and a rally of white nationalists in Virginia last year.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen's office announced the indictment Wednesday. It came eight days after the arrest of the four defendants.
Prosecutors say the men were members of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white supremacist group that trains in fighting techniques.
They are accused of committing violent acts during an Aug. 11, 2017, nighttime march at the University of Virginia and during a larger rally in Charlottesville the next day.
All four made initial court appearances in California last week. The press release says they're expected to be transferred to Virginia, where they will appear for arraignment and additional proceedings.
Original Post, Tues. Oct. 2: CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Four members of a militant white supremacist group from California were arrested on charges of traveling to Virginia last year to incite a riot and attack counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally that turned deadly, federal authorities said Tuesday.
The defendants — Benjamin Drake Daley, Michael Paul Miselis, Thomas Walter Gillen and Cole Evan White — are part of the Rise Above Movement, which espouses anti-Semitic views and meets regularly in public parks to train in boxing and other fighting techniques, according to an affidavit written by an FBI agent.
The affidavit alleges the four were "among the most violent individuals present in Charlottesville" in August 2017 during a torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus and a larger rally in downtown the following day. It says photos and video footage shows they attacked counterprotesters, "which in some cases resulted in serious injuries."
The men have also taken part in "acts of violence" at political rallies in Huntington Beach, Berkeley and other places, the affidavit alleges.
One of the men — Cole Evan White — is a former employee of the Top Dog restaurant in Berkeley.
Shortly after the violence in Charlottesville, Top Dog issued a statement saying restaurant staff had confronted White about his participation in the rally, and that White had voluntarily resigned. A tweet from Aug. 12, 2017 purports to identify White in a torch-carrying crowd at the white supremacist rally: