A U.S. man accused of being the leader of a white supremacist group has been extradited from Romania to face charges of inciting violence at California political rallies in 2017.
Robert Paul Rundo of Huntington Beach was flown back to the country Tuesday and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy and rioting, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said. He was held without bond.
Rundo, 33, is allegedly a founding member of the Rise Above Movement, according to prosecutors. The organization is described in the indictment as “a combat-ready, militant group of a new nationalist white supremacy and identity movement.”
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Rundo and two other men planned and engaged in violence at gatherings in Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino in 2017, according to the indictment, which added that they later trained for future events and celebrated their assaults.
Rundo’s attorney, Julia Deixler, declined to comment on the allegations.
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A trial on the charges has been scheduled for Dec. 12.
Rundo was previously arrested in 2018. A federal court dismissed the charges in 2019, but they were reinstated by a federal appeals court in 2021.
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Rundo left the United States after the charges were dismissed, according to federal prosecutors. They didn’t say why he went to Romania.