Judge to sentence neo-Nazi group members arrested ahead of Virginia pro-gun rally under terrorism law

Virginia News

FILE – This image taken from a Sept. 14, 2019, video and released in a U.S. Attorney detention memorandum, shows Brian Mark Lemley Jr, driving, and Patrik Mathews, passenger seat, passing through a toll booth near Norfolk, Va., en route to Georgia. The pair, along with William Garfield Bilbrough IV, plotted to carry out “essentially a paramilitary strike” at a Virginia gun rights rally, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. FBI agents arrested Mathews, Lemley and Bilbrough on Jan., 16, as part of a broader investigation of The Base, a white supremacist group. (U.S. Attorney via AP)

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal judge has concluded that two neo-Nazi group members intended to engage in terrorist activity before FBI agents arrested them ahead of a pro-gun rally in Virginia.

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang’s decision Monday to apply a “terrorism enhancement” in sentencing the men favors prosecutors’ recommendation that both of them get 25 years in prison.

Chuang is scheduled to sentence them at separate hearings on Thursday in Maryland.

Prosecutors say the men planned to carry out a massacre inspired by their white supremacist ideology.

Defense lawyers say an undercover FBI agent tried in vain to bait them into developing a plan for violence.

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