LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A fugitive from Riverside County suspected of being part of a Southern California-based white nationalist group that was involved in inciting riots at political rallies across California — as well the riots in Charlottesville –appeared in court Monday after surrendering to the FBI.
Aaron Eason, 38, of Anza, turned himself in to authorities, the FBI announced Sunday night. Eason was the last outstanding member of the white supremacy extremist Rise Above Movement (RAM). Three other RAM members listed in the same federal criminal complaint were captured last week, while another four were arrested earlier this month on a separate criminal complaint.
Robert Rundo, 28, of Huntington Beach, whom the FBI identified as the co-founder and leader of RAM, was arrested Oct. 21 at Los Angeles International Airport. Two other members, Robert Boman, 25, of Torrance and Tyler Laube, 22, of Redondo Beach, were arrested Oct. 24.
According to the criminal complaint, all four men are accused of inciting riots or committing acts of violence in furtherance of a riot.
“Throughout 2017, the defendants and other RAM members traveled to political rallies, including in Huntington Beach, California, on March 25, 2017, Berkeley, California, on April 15, 2017, San Bernardino, California, on June 20, 2017, and Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11-12, 2017, ” according to a federal affidavit in support of an arrest warrant. “RAM members violently attacked and assaulted counter-protesters at each of these events.”
Rundo and other defendants used the internet to coordinate combat training in preparation for last year’s rallies, to arrange travel to the events, to coordinate attendance at the events, and to celebrate their acts of violence in order to recruit members for future events, according to the complaint.
This past spring, Rundo and other RAM members allegedly traveled to Germany, Ukraine and Italy to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday on April 20 and meet with members of European white supremacy extremist groups, the document states.
Rundo, Boman and Laube appeared before a magistrate judge Oct. 24 and were ordered to remain in federal custody without bail pending trial.
Eason made his first court appearance Monday.
Meanwhile, four other members of RAM were apprehended Oct. 2 on similar federal charges. 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 charges they traveled to Charlottesville last year to incite a riot and attack counter-protesters.
They were indicted about a week later in Virginia on one count each of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act and traveling across state lines to participate in or incite a riot.
If convicted as charged, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)