The Rise Above Rioters


The Rise Above Movement is a group of hard-right ultra-nationalists based in California. With membership that overlaps the Hammerskins, the largest white nationalist group in the United States RAM formed in late-2016. Throughout 2017, the group traveled to several rallies in California in addition to attending Unite the Right in Charlottesville. They were captured on video acting violently at many of these events, leading to a major exposé by Pro Publica, and ultimately eight members were indicted on federal riot charges.

Overview

The Rise Above Movement (RAM) was a newly-founded, youthful white nationalist group based primarily out of California. Since their formation in 2016, they participated in several rallies across the US, notably: Huntington Beach, CA; Berkeley, CA; and Charlottesville, VA among others. At these events, they were captured on video engaging in violence against peaceful counter-demonstrators.

RAM was investigated over several months by AC Thompson and Ali Winston, along with Darwin BondGraham and Jake Hanrahan for ProPublica. In his research, he and his team identified several members of the group and exposed their violent criminal histories, asking why they went unpunished even though they committed violence in full view of police.1 Perhaps most noteworthy in this research was the exposure of Michael Miselis,2 then a defense contractor with a security clearance. A day after being exposed, Miselis would lose his job,3 but that was the least of his troubles. Shortly after a PBS FRONTLINE documentary aired,4 the FBI charged Miselis and three other members of RAM (Ben Daley, Tom Gillen, and Cole White) with Riot and Conspiracy to Riot charges in the Western District of Virginia5 [ed: the documentary featured the administrator of this site]. Shortly afterwards, a second group of four RAM members (Robert Rundo, Tyler Laube, Aaron Eason, and Rober Boman) would be arrested in California.6

As the trials of these eight alleged white supremacists approach, two have already pleaded guilty to the charge of Conspiracy to Riot, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison. Tyler Laube, of the California group, and Cole White, of the Charlottesville group, have both taken a plea agreement that would see the Riot charge dismissed. Cole White’s agreement, linked below, is a cooperating agreement.

White was one of the first white supremacists identified at Unite the Right. After the August 11 tiki torch march at the University of Virginia, he was exposed on the Twitter account YesYoureRacist and fired from his job.7 Notes from his initial detention hearing show that when his property was searched, investigators recovered a machete from under his mattress and a knife with a swastika etched on it, which he claims was a souvenir from a trip to Budapest.

White claimed that Daley offered to pay for his trip to Charlottesville. In a bond hearing for Daley, it was revealed that he borrowed money from his mother, Joan Daley, under the pretenses of traveling to Washington, DC to visit a girl.8 Instead, Daley would come to Charlottesville to riot.

RAM is a particularly noteworthy group because of their ties to far right groups in Italy, Germany, and Ukraine. Photos obtained from Daley’s phone show him posing with members of Azov Battalion, a far right paramilitary unit in Ukraine.

The two RAM groups will face trial in 2019.

Case Summary

The People of the State of California v Koefoot, Daniel George (San Bernadino (CA) Criminal Court — MSB17009138)
Awaiting Trial
28-June-2019 (8:30 AM — Trial Readiness)
Daniel Koefoot is one of three people arrested for allegedly attacking a counterprotester's car at an anti-Islam rally in San Bernadino. Court documents in the federal case against the Rise Above Movement in Central California District Court show that the three men arrested were wearing the same kind of mask as the RAM rioters.
Daniel George Koefoot
a.k.a.
Daniel Koefoot
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (suspected)
Fight or challenging to fight in public place
PC415(1) (California Penal Code)
Charged Up to 90 days
Malicious mischief
PC594 (California Penal Code)
Charged Up to 1 year
US v Rundo et al (US District Court (Central Ca) — 2:18-cr-00759-CJC)
Open
09-July-2019 (Jury Trial, 9:00 AM)
This is the second group of eight total members of the Rise Above Movement alleged to have conspired to commit, and participated in, acts of violence at political rallies across the country in 2017. These four members are accused of violence at multiple rallies in California in 2017.
Robert Paul Rundo
a.k.a.
Robert Rundo
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
Robert Boman
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
Tyler Laube
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Convicted (Plea) Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Dismissed (Plea) Up to 5 years
Aaron Eason
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101, 2(a) (United States Code)
Indicted Up to 5 years
USA v Daley et al (US District Court (Western Va) — 3:18-cr-00025-NKM-JCH)
Awaiting Sentencing
19-July-2019 (Sentencing)
These four defendants are traveled to political rallies across the country to engage in violence, including events in Berkeley, CA and Unite the Right in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. They each pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Riot.
Benjamin Drake Daley
a.k.a.
Ben Daley
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Convicted (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Dismissed (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Michael Paul Miselis
a.k.a.
Michael Miselis
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Convicted (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Dismissed (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Thomas Walter Gillen
a.k.a.
Tom Gillen
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Convicted (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Dismissed (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Cole Evan White
a.k.a.
Cole White
Cole Bán
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (RAM)
Conspiracy to Riot
18 U.S.C. § 371 (United States Code)
Convicted (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
Riots
18 U.S.C. § 2101 (United States Code)
Dismissed (Pending Plea Acceptance) Up to 5 years
The People of the State of California v Kounelis, John (San Bernadino (CA) Criminal Court — MSB17009136)
Closed
John Kounelis is one of three people arrested for allegedly attacking a counterprotester's car at an anti-Islam rally in San Bernadino. Court documents in the federal case against the Rise Above Movement in Central California District Court show that the three men arrested were wearing the same kind of mask as the RAM rioters.
John Kounelis
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (suspected)
Fight or challenging to fight in public place
PC415(1) (California Penal Code)
Dismissed (Plea) Up to 90 days
Disturb by loud/unreasonable noise
PC415(2)-I (California Penal Code)
Convicted (Plea) 2 days (in lieu of entire fine)
Failure to appear
PC1320(A) (California Penal Code)
Dismissed (Plea) Up to 6 months
The People of the State of California v Sanchez, Ryan (San Bernadino (CA) Criminal Court — MSB17009137)
Closed
Ryan Sanchez is one of three people arrested for allegedly attacking a counterprotester's car at an anti-Islam rally in San Bernadino. Court documents in the federal case against the Rise Above Movement in Central California District Court show that the three men arrested were wearing the same kind of mask as the RAM rioters.
Ryan Sanchez
Suspected affiliations:
Rise Above Movement (suspected)
Fight or challenging to fight in public place
PC415(1) (California Penal Code)
Dismissed (Plea) Up to 90 days
Disturb by loud/unreasonable noise
PC415(2)-I (California Penal Code)
Convicted (Plea) 2 days (in lieu of $200)

Evidence

Document List

Hearing Notes

References


All people on this list are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Arrests, charges, and indictments are not considered evidence of wrongdoing. All defendants presented herein have a right to due process. The public also has a right to learning the disposition of their cases.