An alleged member of a militant Southern California white supremacist group, who’s charged with inciting violence at political rallies across the state, was denied bail Friday and ordered to remain in federal custody pending trial.

Aaron Eason, 38, of the Riverside County community of Anza, was charged in a two-count indictment Thursday, along with three other alleged members of the so-called Rise Above Movement, on federal charges of planning and engaging in riots.

In his argument for Eason’s pretrial release, defense attorney John McNicholas wrote that his client is not a member of RAM and only attended political rallies in order to protect right-wing speakers from “violent outbursts from far-left activists wearing masks,” according to court papers.

Prosecutors, however, contend Eason rented a van to drive to an April 2017 “Patriots Day” free-speech rally in Berkeley that turned violent. Videos posted online show Eason and other RAM members next to a “Defend America” sign with hands taped for fighting and faces partially covered by skeleton masks, federal authorities allege.

Eason and co-defendants Robert Rundo, 28, of Huntington Beach, Tyler Laube, 22, of Redondo Beach and Robert Boman, 25, of Torrance, were indicted on one count each of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act. Additionally, Rundo, Boman and Eason were charged with violating the riots statute. Each of the two counts carry sentences of up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

At a detention hearing in downtown Los Angeles, U.S. Magistrate Judge Rozella A. Oliver ordered Eason to remain behind bars prior to trial. He and alleged RAM leader Rundo will return to court Nov. 9 for arraignment hearings.

Last month, federal authorities arrested suspected group founder Benjamin Daley, 25, of Redondo Beach, and three others for their suspected roles in last year’s deadly far-right rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia. Daley, Thomas Walter Gillen, 24, also of Redondo Beach, Michael Paul Miselis, 29, of Lawndale, and Cole Evan White, 24, of Clayton, California, are awaiting trial in Virginia.

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