Federal authorities have arrested and charged four men in connection with the violent riots in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017 that left one person dead and inflamed racial tensions around the nation.
Cole Evan White, Benjamin Drake Daley, Michael Paul Miselis, and Thomas Walter Gillen were each charged one count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and one count of violating the federal right statute related to the Aug. 11 and 12 rallies.
According to the Justice Department, the four men flew from California to the Virginia city for the Unite the Right rally, and were intent on causing violence.
The men are members or associates of the Rise Above Movement, which is a militant white-supremacist organization based in Southern California, said federal authorities.
All four men committed “multiple acts of violence against counter-protesters,” said federal authorties, “which in some cases resulted in serious injuries.”
The Justice Department identified them as marchers in the torch-lit rally on the University of Virginia campus on Aug. 11 as well as the rally the next day. But the charges are not related to the death of Heather Heyer, who died when a car driven by white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. slammed into a crowd of anti-protesters.
Fields Jr., 21, of Ohio, was charged with 30 crimes, including federal hate crime charges, in June.
The 2017 marches were marked by violent clashes among attendees of the Unite the Right rallies, who clashed with anti-protesters throughout the weekend. President Trump's remarks on the Charlottesville events became controversial after he took 48 hours to respond. At first he said there was blame to be shared by “both sides."