This post was originally published on ABC2News
Maryland men believed to be members of a white supremacist group have been arrested by FBI Baltimore. A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging three alleged members of the racially motivated violent extremist group “The Base” with firearms and alien-related charges. The complaint charges Brian Mark Lemley, Jr., 33, of Elkton, Maryland, and Newark, Delaware, and William Garfield Bilbrough IV,19, of Denton, Maryland, with transporting and harboring aliens and conspiring to do so. Lemley is also charged with transporting a machine gun and disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an alien unlawfully present in the United States. Further, the complaint charges Lemley and Canadian national Patrik Jordan Mathews, 27, of Newark, Delaware, with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. The complaint also charges Mathews with being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. According to the criminal complaint, within The Base’s encrypted chat rooms, members have discussed, among other things, recruitment, creating a white ethno-state, 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. Lemley previously served as a Cavalry Scout in the United States Army, and as of August 2019, Mathews, a Canadian citizen in the United States illegally, was a combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve.The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint alleges that on August 19, Mathews unlawfully crossed from Canada into the United States near the Manitoba/Minnesota border. On August 30, Lemley and Bilbrough allegedly drove from Maryland to Michigan in order to pick up Mathews, and all three men returned to Maryland the next day. On November 3, the three men drove from Virginia to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where Bilbrough lived. Lemley and Mathews then continued to the area of Elkton, Maryland, where Lemley got a motel room for Mathews. The following day, Lemley drove Mathews to Delaware, where Lemley rented an apartment in which the two have lived since that time. According to the affidavit, during December 2019, Lemley and Mathews used an upper receiver ordered by Lemley, as well as other firearms parts, to make a functioning assault rifle. Also in December, Lemley, Mathews, and Bilbrough allegedly tried to manufacture a controlled substance, DMT, at Lemley and Mathews’s apartment. Furthermore, Lemley, Mathews, and Bilbrough discussed The Base’s activities and spoke about other members of the organization. Mathews also allegedly showed the assault rifle to Bilbrough, who examined the assault rifle and returned it to Mathews.In January, according to the affidavit, Lemley and Mathews purchased approximately 1,650 rounds of 5.56mm and 6.5mm ammunition. They then 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 prior residence in Maryland. If convicted, Lemley and Bilbrough each face a maximum sentence of five years for transporting and harboring certain aliens, and 10 years for conspiracy to do so. Lemley also faces a maximum of five years in prison for transporting a machine gun in interstate commerce, and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an illegal alien. Lemley and Mathews each face a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for transporting a firearm and ammunition in interstate commerce with intent to commit a felony offense. Finally, Mathews faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.