3 suspected members of neo-Nazi group arrested by FBI ahead of pro-gun rally in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Federal authorities have arrested three men with alleged ties to a neo-Nazi group known as “The Base” who were in possession of several firearms with thousands of rounds of ammunition and reportedly had discussions of traveling to Richmond for next week’s pro-gun rally at the state Capitol.

A U.S. law enforcement official confirmed to ABC News on Thursday that three men, Brian M. Lemley, Jr., William G. Bilbrough and a Canadian national Patrik J. Mathews, face several charges and spoke about traveling to Richmond on Monday at the time of their arrest.

The suspects, who were allegedly in possession of several weapons and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition, are expected to appear in a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland on Thursday afternoon.

Mathews was a former reservist in the Canadian Army who was discharged over his ties to white supremacist groups, ABC News confirmed Thursday. According to the criminal complaint, Mathews entered the United States illegally near the Manitoba/Minnesota border.

Lemley and Bilbrough picked up Mathews and drove him to Maryland after he entered the U.S., according to the criminal complaint. Among other charges, the complaint accuses Lemley of transporting a machine gun and disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an alien unlawfully present in the United States.

An affidavit claims Lemley and Mathews bought 1,650 rounds of ammunition, obtained plate carriers used to support body armor. Both men have been charged with transporting a firearm and ammunition with the intent to commit a felony.

The criminal complaint said an FBI agent saw Lemley and Mathews at a gun range in Maryland and eventually a stationary camera was set up near the gun range. Authorities said agents “observed and recorded Mathews in possession of a firearm.”

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