The charges against Patrik Mathews continue to mount, as the disgraced Canadian reservist and neo-Nazi now faces up to 60 years in U.S. prison after two grand juries this week indicted him on five criminal counts.
Mathews faces four firearm-related charges, and an additional count of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying his cellphone as the FBI raided his Delaware apartment Jan. 16.
If convicted on all counts, the Manitoba resident faces up to 20 years in U.S. federal prison and 40 years in state prison. There is no parole in the U.S. federal prison system.
The Maryland Department of Justice issued a news release Tuesday evening saying the government convened grand juries in Delaware and Maryland this week seeking indictments against Mathews, 27, and his co-accused: Brian Lemley Jr., 33, and William Bilbrough IV, 19.
The indictments against the three men were secured Monday and Tuesday.
The accused had been scheduled to appear Thursday in U.S. federal court in Greenbelt, Md., for a preliminary hearing. At the hearing — which would have been open to the public — a judge was set to rule whether there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
By contrast, grand juries are private and cannot be attended by media.
The co-accused were arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on the Base, a violent neo-Nazi paramilitary group. Other members of the Base remain at large, and it’s possible the FBI continues to investigate.
Mathews is facing two felony charges for transporting a firearm and ammunition interstate with intent to commit a felony, and being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
He’s also charged with illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of an unregistered firearm, and obstruction of justice.
Lemley is facing a multitude of firearm- and alien-related charges. Bilbrough has been charged with helping harbour Mathews, who was in the U.S. illegally.
The Winnipeg Free Press exposed Mathews as a neo-Nazi recruiter and active combat engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2019, following a month-long undercover investigation.
Hours after being outed by the Free Press, the RCMP raided Mathews’ home in Beausejour and seized several firearms. After being briefly taken into custody, Mathews was released without charge.
Soon after, Mathews vanished, abandoning his truck near the U.S.-Canada border. He’s alleged to have linked-up with neo-Nazi comrades in the U.S. and begun planning murders and terror attacks while stockpiling guns and ammunition.
If convicted, the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to take possession of items it says was used to commit the offences. The government has identified a 2019 Chevrolet pickup truck for seizure, as well as two firearms and a stockpile of ammunition.
If the property in question cannot be located due to the actions of the defendants, the government says it will take possession of different property valued at the same amount.
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.