The FBI has arrested the leader of the nationalist California group Rise Above Movement on a "federal conspiracy charge" after he apparently fled to Central America earlier this month.
Robert Paul Rundo, 28, a resident of Huntington Beach, California, is being held at the federal jail in downtown Los Angeles.
Rundo apparently crossed into Mexico two weeks ago and was brought back to the United States, according to two people familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
He is the founder of the Rise Above Movement, a Southern California-based, White Nationalist group whose members were allegedly involved in "violent activity" at protests throughout California in 2017. He was among four people associated with the group charged with "plotting riots and inciting violence", according to court documents.
Earlier this month, four other members of the Rise Above Movement were indicted on conspiracy to riot charges for attacking counterprotesters during last year’s Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Before founding the Rise Above Movement, Rundo served 20 months in a New York state prison for stabbing a rival gang member from MS-13 in a 2009 attack in New York. At the time, he was part of a small, multiracial neighborhood gang called the Original Flushing Crew, which was in a feud with a subset of MS-13, known as the Guanacos Little Cycos Salvatruchas, according to a 2012 federal indictment.
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Rundo’s ties to white nationalist groups and ideology have gradually deepened since his sentencing, according to the authorities. Since creating the Rise Above Movement sometime around 2017, Rundo has established ties between the group and the West Coast chapter of the Hammerskins, an international network of National Socialist skinheads.
Earlier this year, Rundo traveled to Europe with members of the Rise Above Movement to participate in mixed-martial arts tournaments hosted by National Socialist organizations in Germany and Ukraine.
Based on The New York Times News Service (NY) Report