WILMINGTON, Del. – Federal grand juries in Delaware and Maryland have returned indictments charging alleged members of the racially motivated violent extremist group “The Base” with firearms and alien-related charges. Both federal indictments charge Brian Mark Lemley, Jr., age 33, of Elkton, Maryland, and Newark, Delaware; and Canadian national Patrik Jordan Mathews, age 27, currently of Newark, Delaware, with firearms and alien-related charges. A third alleged member of “The Base,” William Garfield Bilbrough IV, age 19, of Denton, Maryland, is charged in the Maryland indictment for alien-related charges. The Delaware indictment also charges Lemley and Mathews with destroying their cellular telephones with intent to obstruct justice. The Maryland indictment was returned on January 27, 2020 and unsealed today. The Delaware grand jury returned its indictment today.
The indictments were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Toni Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.
The six-count Delaware indictment alleges that Lemley transported an illegal alien, specifically Patrik Jordan Mathews, on November 4, 2019; and that from November 4, 2019 through January 16, 2020, Lemley harbored Mathews, knowing he was an illegal alien. Further, Lemley and Mathews are charged with being or aiding-and-abetting an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition from November 28, 2019 through January 4, 2020, and again on January 16, 2020; with illegal possession of a machinegun; with illegal possession of an unregistered machinegun; and with destroying their cellular telephones with the intent to obstruct justice, specifically an investigation conducted by the FBI.
The 12-count Maryland indictment charges Lemley and Bilbrough with conspiring to transport an alien from August 30 through 31, 2019, and with transporting an alien on August 31, 2019; with conspiring to transport and harbor an alien on November 2 and 3, 2019, and with transporting an alien and harboring an alien on November 3, 2019. Lemley is charged with transporting a machine gun in interstate commerce on January 2, 2020; and with disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an illegal alien on January 5, 2020 and January 11, 2020. Lemley and Mathews are charged with being or aiding-and-abetting an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition on January 5, 2020 and January 11, 2020; and with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony on January 5, 2020 and on January 11, 2020.
The federal indictments also seek the forfeiture of any property traceable to the offenses charged, including all firearms and ammunition allegedly involved in the commission of the offense, and a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 allegedly used to facilitate the offense.
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; a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being or aiding-and-abetting an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition; a maximum of 10 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm; a maximum of 10 years in prison for illegal possession of an unregistered firearm; and a maximum of 20 years in prison for obstruction of justice. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorneys David C. Weiss and Robert K. Hur commended the FBI Baltimore Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and ATF for their work in the investigation, and thanked U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland State Police, and the Delaware State Police for their assistance. Mr. Weiss and Mr. Hur thanked their offices’ national security prosecutors, who are handling the case.