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MD judge: Former Canadian military reservist linked to white supremacist group 'The Base' will remain in US custody

He is one of three charged with firearms and illegal immigration-related charges who were planning to come to Virginia's Lobby Day rally.

GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland has ruled that a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist who's linked to a violent white supremacist group called "The Base" will remain in custody. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan said Wednesday that Patrik Mathews is a “very dangerous person” who “espouses very dangerous beliefs.” Sullivan ordered Mathews detained pending a Jan. 30 preliminary hearing. 

Mathews and two other men were arrested Thursday on federal felony charges in Maryland and Delaware. Authorities said they were believed to be headed to a pro-gun rally in Virginia’s capital.

Sullivan also refused to set bail for a defendant arrested on related charges in the FBI's investigation of The Base.

The two other men arrested are Brian Mark Lemley, Jr., 33, of Elkton, Md., and Newark, Del., and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, Md. They were charged with transporting and harboring aliens and conspiring to do so.

Lemley, along with Mathews, was also charged with transporting a machine gun, disposing of a firearm, and ammunition to an alien unlawfully present in the U.S., officials said.

The group's members discussed, among other things, recruitment, creating a white ethnostate, committing acts of violence against minority communities, including African Americans and Jewish-Americans, the organization’s military-style training camps, and ways to make improvised-explosive devices in "The Base's" encrypted chat rooms, the federal complaint alleges.

In December 2019, the affidavit alleges that Lemley and Mathews used an upper receiver Lemley ordered, along with other firearms parts, to make a functioning assault rifle. Mathews also allegedly showed the assault rifle to Bilbrough, who examined the assault rifle and returned it to Mathews, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the three men tried to make a controlled substance at Lemley and Mathews’s apartment and talked about "The Base’s" activities and spoke about other members of the organization.

Lemley and Mathews bought nearly 1,650 rounds of 5.56 mm and 6.5 mm ammunition in January, traveled from Delaware to a gun range in Maryland, where they shot the assault rifle, and retrieved plate carriers (to support body armor) and at least some of the purchased ammunition from Lemley’s previous home in Maryland, according to the affidavit.

The complaint alleges that on Aug. 19, Mathews unlawfully crossed from Canada into the U.S. near the Manitoba-Minnesota border and that on Aug. 30, Lemley and Bilbrough allegedly drove from Maryland to Michigan in order to pick up Mathews. All three men returned to Maryland on Aug. 31, the complaint alleges.

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The three men drove from Virginia to the Eastern Shore of Maryland on Nov. 3, where Bilbrough lived, the complaint alleges. Lemley and Mathews then continued to the area of Elkton, Md., where Lemley got a motel room for Mathews and the following day, he drove Mathews to Delaware, where Lemley rented an apartment, according to the complaint. The two men have lived there since that time, the complaint alleges.

Lemley, according to authorities, previously served as a Cavalry Scout in the U.S. Army, and as of August 2019, Mathews was a combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve.

If convicted, Bilbrough faces 25 years of prison on the federal charges, Lemley faces up to 40 years in prison on various federal charges and Mathews faces up to 20 years -- 10 years of which include charges of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition, according to the affidavit.

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