Man linked to extremist group seeks release from jail

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN 12 March 2020, 12:00AM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man accused of joining a white supremacist group and discussing violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia is seeking his pretrial release from federal custody.

In a court filing Wednesday, defense attorney Ned Smock asked a federal magistrate judge in Greenbelt, Maryland, to schedule a detention hearing for Brian Mark Lemley, who was indicted on gun-related charges.

“The defense has a proposed release plan to present to the Court that we submit addresses any concern about risk of flight or danger to the community,” wrote Smock, an assistant federal public defender. Smock did not disclose any details of that plan.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan and federal prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to Lemley’s request for a hearing. Sullivan already has refused to set bond for two other men who were arrested in January on related charges.

Lemley, 33, of Elkton, Maryland, had waived his right to an immediate detention hearing after making his initial court appearance Jan. 16. He and former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Mathews, 27, separately pleaded not guilty to charges including transporting a firearm and ammunition with the intent to commit a felony.

William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, Maryland, pleaded not guilty to charges that he helped transport and harbor Mathews, who is accused of illegally entering the U.S. from Canada.

Federal authorities said the three men were members of a white supremacist organization called The Base. During a hearing last week, a prosecutor said the group’s goal was to accelerate the overthrow of the U.S. government and replace it with a white supremacist regime.

Lemley and Mathews discussed “the planning of violence” at a gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia, in January, prosecutors said in a court filing. A closed-circuit television camera and microphone installed by investigators in a Delaware home captured Lemley talking about using a thermal imaging scope affixed to his rifle to ambush unsuspecting civilians and police officers, prosecutors said.

“I need to claim my first victim,” Lemley said on Dec. 23, according to prosecutors.

Lemley was a member of a different white nationalist, neo-Confederate organization before he joined The Base last year, prosecutors' filing says. In encrypted online chats, Base members discussed what would happen if law enforcement tried to disrupt their activities, the filing says.

"For example, in September 2019, in a discussion with other Base members, Lemley wrote, ‘Hey mr fed’ and ‘I spent about 35% of my day daydreaming about killing you today.' Lemley went on to write, 'I day dream about killing so much that I frequently walk in the wront (sic) directions for extended periods of time at work,’” prosecutors wrote.

FBI agents arrested Mathews, Lemley and Bilbrough as part of a broader investigation of The Base. Authorities in Georgia and Wisconsin also arrested four other men linked to the group.

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN 12 March 2020, 12:00AM

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