April 8, 2020

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U.S. prosecutors seek pre-trial extension in case against ex-Manitoba reservist

U.S. attorneys are seeking to waive Patrik Mathews’ right to a speedy trial, due to the "voluminous" evidence in the case against the neo-Nazi recruiter and ex-Canadian reservist, according to a motion filed Monday in a Maryland court.

"In light of the complexity of the case, the large amount of discovery, the possibility of disposition, and the relevant scheduling parameters, it is clear that the 70 days contemplated by the Speedy Trial Act for discovery, pre-trial motions, and trial preparation will be inadequate," reads the motion.

Patrik Mathews outside his Beausejour home last August.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Patrik Mathews outside his Beausejour home last August.

"It is in the interests of justice for the parties to have beyond 70 days to review discovery, prepare the case for trial, and to engage in discussions regarding disposition."

The motion was filed by U.S. Attorney Robert Hur; it is co-signed by assistant Thomas Windom, who is serving as lead prosecutor on the case.

Discovery is the process in the lead-up to a trial where each party shares evidence with the other.

In the motion, the prosecution asked U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang to delay a potential trial. The government noted the defence counsels representing the accused have agreed to the delay.

The parties propose to reconvene the week of March 9, to provide an update and discuss future scheduling for the case.

The motion also provides additional insight into the methods U.S. federal law enforcement used in the investigation into Mathews, 27, and co-accused Brian Lemley Jr., 33, and William Bilbrough IV, 19.

"Discovery in this case is voluminous, involving approximately one month of closed-circuit television recordings and Title III oral bug interceptions; FBI undercover employee recordings; the result of search warrants of four physical locations in Maryland and Delaware; recordings of jail calls; search warrants related to at least 15 email accounts and online messaging platforms; financial records; telephone records; and other records," the motion reads.

U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur addresses the media regarding Patrik Mathews outside U.S. federal court in Greenbelt, MD in January.

RYAN THORPE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur addresses the media regarding Patrik Mathews outside U.S. federal court in Greenbelt, MD in January.

The Winnipeg Free Press exposed Mathews as a recruiter for violent neo-Nazi paramilitary group the Base and a master corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2019, following a month-long undercover investigation.

Soon after, Mathews’ Beausejour home was raided by the RCMP and firearms were seized. He was briefly taken into custody but released without charge.

In the subsequent days, he vanished, illegally crossing into the United States.

On Jan. 16, the FBI arrested Mathews in Delaware, following a lengthy criminal investigation.

Mathews is accused of plotting to open fire at a Jan. 20 pro-gun rights rally in Richmond, Va., in an effort to spark what he called a violent revolution for the white race.

He is facing numerous criminal charges, including multiple firearm offences and one count of destroying evidence. If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to 60 years in U.S. prison.

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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