U.S. prosecutors recommend former Manitoba reservist get 25-year sentence

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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, 28, was indicted earlier this year on four charges, including illegally carrying a firearm and obstructing 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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Mr Matthews and two Americans have been in US custody since the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested him last year. It is alleged that all three were members of the white supremacist group Base and were planning violence at a 2020 Virginia gun rights rally.

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

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

Prosecutors wrote that Bess used encrypted chatrooms to plan acts of violence against minority communities, including black 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.

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

The RCMP searched Mr Matthews’ 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,” the sentencing memo included. Is. said.

Prosecutors allege that once in the US, Mr Matthews began manufacturing a working assault rifle, participated in military training exercises, screened new members to the base, and found several people who supported violent, anti-Semitic and racist language. Make video.

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“They want the bad guys so bad, they can have it. We will give them the bad guys,” Ms. Mathews said in a video submitted to the court and included in the sentencing memo. “We will give them white supremacist terrorists, If they want that.”

In another video, Mr Mathew urges people to be prepared to kill themselves, derail trains and supply poisoned water.

“If you want the white race to survive, you have to do your… part,” said Mr. Matthews.

Prosecutors said law enforcement gathered information about Mr 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 said Mr Matthews and other members of the base thought the Boogaloo movement, a violent uprising that white supremacists believe 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 said Mr 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. Mr Matthews’ recordings presented in court leading up to 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 Mr. Matthews and Mr. Lemley in Delaware in January, 2020, but not before the two men broke their cell phones and threw them in the toilet.

Prosecutors urged in the memo that a sentence should consider Mr 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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