David Mendez

Redondo Beach man arrested in Federal raid on white supremacists

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Federal agents load a vehicle near a home where Redondo Beach resident Benjamin Daley was arrested. Photo by David Mendez

by David Mendez

Federal agents conducted an early morning raid on the back house of a North Redondo Beach residence that is rented to an alleged white supremacist on Tuesday morning, resulting in one arrest. The raid was one of a series of simultaneous raids across California.

Residents along the 2900 block of Perkins Lane were awaked at 5 a.m. by the sound of explosions, believed to be caused by stun grenades.

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“We went outside and saw [agents] in paramilitary uniforms and kevlar helmets, with weapons ready,” said Carlos Verduzco. “They had an armored car parked about three houses down.”

Neighbors reported seeing about 40 agents swarming the back house.

A woman living in the front house said that officers told her to stay inside, and described the scene as “surreal.”

The United States Department of Justice confirmed that Benjamin Daley was arrested at the Redondo home. Thomas Gillen, of Redondo Beach; Michael Miselis, of Lawndale; and Cole White, of Clayton, Calif., were also arrested in separate raids. All four defendants have been charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots statute and one count of violating the federal riots statute.

Daley was identified in a ProPublica article published last year as having been filmed participating in the Aug. 2017 Charlottesville, Va., white supremacy march.

In a DOJ press release Daley, Gillen, Miselis and White are alleged to be members or associates of the Rise Above Movement, a militant white-supremacist organization based in Southern California. A court complaint and affidavit states that the four “traveled to Charlottesville for the August 2017 United the Right Rally with the intent to encourage, promote, incite, participate in, and commit violent acts in furtherance of a riot.”

The four were also alleged to have attacked and injured counter-protestors, and said to have participated in that weekend’s torch-lit march at the University of Virginia.

Redondo Beach Councilwoman Laura Emdee lives on the 2900 block of Perkins Lane. Emdee said that she saw many vehicles that she believed to be unmarked FBI cars, as well as an evidence van, parked along the street.

Federal agents on scene called the raid a search warrant action, but would not confirm any arrests and gave no further details.

Federal agents were seen loading up vehicles with multiple bags of materials before leaving the scene around 10 a.m.

Redondo Beach Police Chief Keith Kauffman said RBPD did not participate in the raid.

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