Ex-Manitoba reservist should get 25 years in prison, U.S. prosecutors say

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Prosecutors in the United States who argue a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist intended to start a civil war by mass murder could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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Patrick Matthews, who is 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to four charges, including illegally transporting a firearm and obstruction of justice.

“In the hope of a civil war that would eliminate racial and ethnic minorities and subjugate women, the defendants joined forces with each other and others, studying violence, testing their weapons skills, and stockpiled supplies, and planned mass killings in the pursuit of their targets,” prosecutors wrote in a 45-page sentencing memo filed in Maryland District Court last week.

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Matthews has been in US custody since the FBI arrested him and two Americans last year. It is alleged that all three were members of the white supremacist group The Base and were planning violence at a 2020 Virginia gun rights rally.

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US Army veteran Brian Mark Lemley Jr. also pleaded guilty to weapons charges and is to be sentenced along with Matthews on October 28. William Bilbro IV was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in bringing Matthews to America.

The defendant’s sentencing documents have been sealed and are not publicly available.

Prosecutors wrote that The Base used encrypted chat rooms to plan acts of violence against minority communities, including African Americans and Jewish communities, to create a white ethno-state. He said the group also organized military-style training camps, shared information on how to make explosive devices, and recruited people with military training.

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Matthews, Man., a former combat engineer from Beaujor, joined the group at some point. Prosecutors said that following media reports in 2019 that he was a recruiter for The Bass, he fled to the US, where he was picked up by Lemley and Bilbro.

The sentencing memo states that the RCMP searched Mathews’ Manitoba home and “found a handwritten list of mass shootings, including the year, number of dead, number of wounded, the shooter’s ethnicity, and whether the shooter was on any form of medication.” ” Included.

Prosecutors allege that once in the US, Matthews began manufacturing a working assault rifle, participated in military training exercises, screened new members for The Base and supported violent, anti-Semitic and racist language. Made many videos.

“They want the bad guys so bad, they can have it. We’ll give them the bad guys,” Mathews said in a video submitted to the court and included in the sentencing memo. “We’ll give them white supremacist terrorists, if any.” That’s what they want.”

In another video, Mathews urges people to be prepared to kill themselves, derail trains and supply toxic water.

“If you want the white race to survive, you have to do your (inadequate) part,” Matthews said.

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Prosecutors said law enforcement gathered information about Matthews and his co-accused through “stealth and extreme” warrants, video surveillance and undercover agents. A large part of his secretly recorded rhetoric “involved violence in the furtherance of white nationalism and the downfall of the American state,” he said.

The prosecution document states that Matthews and other members of The Base thought the Boogaloo movement, which white supremacists believe would be a violent uprising that would start the Civil War, would begin at a Virginia gun rally. It said they were preparing to part ways by devising violent plans, buying ammunition and storing food.

The document says Matthews and his co-accused also argued over the murder of a law enforcement officer, the freeing of neo-Nazi mass murderer Dylan Roof, and the attempted murder of the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. Mathews’ recordings, produced in court before the rally, show that he knew his actions were illegal.

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“Right now, if I am ever caught, I will be in jail for the rest of my life. You realize they are going to call us terrorists,” he said.

Federal agents arrested Matthews and Lemley in Delaware in January 2020, but before that the two men broke their cell phones and threw them in a toilet.

Prosecutors urged in the memo that a sentence should consider Matthews’ intentions. They want what is called a “terrorism escalation” that will significantly increase the prison term.

“They are domestic terrorists and should be punished accordingly,” prosecutors wrote.

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