Former Manitoba reservist, 2 other alleged members of neo-Nazi group indicted by U.S. grand juries
Trial date for Patrik Mathews yet to be scheduled
Ex-Canadian reservist Patrik Mathews could face up to a maximum of 90 years in U.S. prison if convicted, after he and two other members of The Base, an militant white supremacist group, were indicted by federal grand juries in Maryland and Delaware this week.
Mathews, 27, who is from Beausejour, Man., was arrested in Delaware earlier this month after he fled the country when he was outed as an alleged recruiter for The Base in August.
Alleged Base members Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, were also arrested earlier this month.
Mathews and Lemley Jr. are facing several firearms charges, including transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony, as well as one count of destroying their cellular telephones with intent to obstruct justice. Lemley Jr. and Bilbrough are also facing charges related to transporting Mathews, an alien in the U.S.
If convicted, Mathews could potentially face the following maximum sentences:
- Three counts of being an alien in possession of firearms/ammunition (10 years each, for a total of 30 years)
- Two counts of transporting a firearm and ammunition between states with intent to commit a felony (10 years each, for a total of 20 years)
- One count of illegal possession of a machine gun (10 years)
- One count of possession of an unregistered machine gun (10 years)
- One count of obstruction of justice (20 years)
The U.S. Department of Justice pointed out in a press release that sentences are usually less than the maximum penalties.
In previously released court documents, prosecutors alleged that Mathews was part of a plan to carry out violence at a pro-gun rally in Virginia. They also included allegations that Mathews created a video calling for violent revolution, and reveal that investigators installed hidden cameras in the apartment he shared with Lemley Jr. in Delaware.
The 12-count Maryland indictment was returned Monday and unsealed on Tuesday. The six-count Delaware indictment was returned Tuesday.
Preliminary hearings that would decide if there were grounds to move the court case forward to a trial were scheduled for Thursday of this week. The indictments, which officially laid the charges, made the prelims unnecessary.
Mathews and the others will have initial court appearances and an arraignment hearing to enter pleas on the charges, but those have not been scheduled yet.
If convicted, the U.S. Department of Justice will look to seize any property that is linked to the charges, including all firearms and ammunition allegedly involved, as well as a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pickup truck.
- We initially reported that Patrik Mathews could face up to 60 years in prison for charges laid against him. In fact, Mathews could possibly face up to 90 years in prison. We initially reported that Brian Mark Lemley Jr. and William Garfield Bilbrough IV were arrested in Maryland. In fact, Lemley was arrested in Delaware.Jan 29, 2020 12:35 PM CT
With files from Karen Pauls and Angela Johnston