Two key members of a white supremacist group based in Southern California pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to riot for their roles in provoking violence at a deadly far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.
Benjamin Drake Daley, a founder of the so-called Rise Above Movement, and Michael Miselis, a member who worked as an aerospace engineer for Northrop Grumman, entered their pleas in a Charlottesville courtroom. They will face up to five years in federal prison when they are sentenced in July.
“These avowed white supremacists traveled to Charlottesville to incite and commit acts of violence,” Thomas Cullen, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said in a statement. “Although the First Amendment protects an organization’s right to express abhorrent political views, it does not authorize senseless violence in furtherance of a political agenda.”
Daley, Miselis and several others had traveled from California on behalf of the relatively small militant white power group that casts itself as an alt-right fight club. Its members would meet regularly in public parks to practice boxing and other street-fighting techniques to unleash on political foes.
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