Officials say four more RAM members charged in California

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LOS ANGELES (CBS19 NEWS) -- Four more people allegedly associated with a white supremacist group in California have been charged in connection with attacks at political rallies.

MGN

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California, three of the men are in custody and fourth is being sought.

The men are accused of traveling to political rallies in California where they allegedly attacked counter-protesters, journalists and a police officer.

The men are believed to be members of the Rise Above Movement, four members of which were recently indicted on charges tied to violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12, 2017.

According to a release, the complaint unsealed on Wednesday also alleges the four men used the Internet “with the intent to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on riots.”

The four men reportedly engaged in a series of violent attacks at political rallies in 2017, including ones in Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino.

An affidavit also alleges the men used the Internet to coordinate “combat training,” attendance and travel to events, and then celebrate the violence in an attempt to recruit members for future events.

Thirty-eight-year-old Robert Rundo of Huntington Beach is believed to be a founding member of RAM and the person who runs the groups Twitter account.

He made his first appearance in a California court on Monday and had another hearing Wednesday during which he was ordered held in custody pending trial.

Twenty-five-year-old Robert Boman of Torrance was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents and is expected in court in the afternoon.

Twenty-two-year-old Tyler Laube of Redondo Beach was also arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday morning and will make a first court appearance in the afternoon.

A fourth man, 38-year-old Aaron Eason of Riverside County, is still being sought.

“Every American has a right to peacefully organize, march and protest in support of their beliefs, but no one has the right to violently assault their political opponents,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “The allegations describe an orchestrated effort to squelch free speech as members of the conspiracy traveled to multiple locations to attack those who hold different views.”

The men are accused of violating the federal conspiracy and riots acts.

The release says the men attended the Make American Great Again rally in Huntington Beach on March 25, 2017 where they reportedly confronted counter-protesters and Rundo, Boman and Laube attacked several people including two journalists.

In the weeks after this incident, members of RAM reportedly celebrated the attacks on a neo-Nazi website and solicited other people to attend an upcoming rally in Berkley and combat training in a park in San Clemente.

At the April 15, 2017 Berkeley rally, Rundo, Boman and Eason allegedly were involved in violent attacks, that resulted in Rundo being arrested for punching someone and a Berkeley police officer.

The release says RAM members then celebrated the Berkeley incident, including Boman posting photos of himself attacking people and RAM members engaging in combat training.

On June 10,2017, Rundo and other RAM members reportedly attended an Anti-Islamic Law rally in San Bernardino, where officials say they participated in violent attacks.

Four members of RAM have been indicted on charges of violating the riots act connected to violence that occurred in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12, 2017.

According to the release, the affidavit released on Wednesday notes connections between the defendants in both cases.

“Rundo, Boman, Laube, and Eason, along with other RAM members, have used the Internet to prepare to incite and participate in violence at various political events, have committed violent assaults while at those events and have applauded each other for it and publicly documented their assaults in order to recruit more members to engage in further assaults,” said the complaint.

RAM and its members have documented and promoted white supremacist ideology on various Internet platforms and through graffiti, including tags in Irvine, California.

The release says a video posted earlier this year show Rundo saying he is a supporter of “the 14,” which references a 14-word slogan used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

It also says Rundo and two of the men charged in Charlottesville reportedly traveled to Europe this past spring to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday and to meet members from other white supremacist groups.

If convicted of the conspiracy and riots charges listed in the complaint, Rundo, Boman, Laube, and Eason each face up to a maximum of ten years in federal prison.



 
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