Judge considering addition of ‘terrorism enhancement’ to two white supremacists’ prison terms
A federal judge is reportedly considering adding “terrorism enhancement” to the prison terms of two white supremacists who are accused of planning to illegally transport firearms and ammunition to a gun-rights rally in Virginia last year.
Judge Theodore D. Chaung said Monday that terrorism enhancement could be implemented in the case involving Patrik Mathews, 29, and Brian Lemley Jr., 35, both of whom pleaded guilty in June to charges connected to firearms and immigration, according to The Washington Post.
They are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.
Chaung on Monday ruled that Mathews and Lemley can face prison sentences that are longer than the recommended maximums for the charges to which they pleaded guilty, agreeing with prosecutors, according to the Post.
Chaung also said that terrorism enhancement could be used in the case against Mathews and Lemley, the Post reported, though he appeared unlikely to apply the provision. The U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland recommends 25-year terms for terrorism enhancement, according to the Post, which would be substantially larger than the typical terms for the crimes the two men pleaded guilty to.
Defense lawyers reportedly objected to such a situation, contending that their clients should only be given prison time for crimes they pleaded guilty to, rather than plans they had that were never carried out, the Post reported.
Mathews and Lemley were arrested in January 2020 after it was discovered that they were planning to travel to Richmond, Va., with firearms to take part in a protest against gun control measures put forth by the state legislature.
They were taken into custody in connect to a probe into the white supremacist group The Base, of which they are members, and were charged with a number of crimes in Maryland.
Both men are now facing a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for transporting a firearm and ammunition in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a felony, and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for obstruction of justice, according to a June statement from the Justice Department.
Lemley also faces a maximum of five years in prison each for transporting and harboring certain aliens, and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison each for conspiracy to transport certain alien, disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an illegal alien and for aiding and abetting an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Additionally, Mathews faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each of two counts of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 21, was also arrested and charged in connection to the plot; he was sentenced to five years in prison in December after he admitted to two counts of transporting and harboring an alien.
Bilbrough’s sentence, however, did not have the possibility of a terrorism enhancement.
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