Neo-Nazi defendant Patrik Mathews pleads guilty to weapons charges, destroying evidence
Patrik Mathews – a former Manitoba Army reservist and suspected recruiter for a neo-Nazi group – changed his guilty plea on a number of different charges in the US states of Maryland and Delaware.
The 28-year-old appeared before U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang on Thursday to argue his case as part of a deal, and his lawyer detailed his work with white supremacist group The Base and its alleged crimes.
Chuang asked, “Did you do the things the government said you did? Mathews hesitated, then replied, “Yes, your honor.”
Mathews quietly pronounced ‘guilty’ when asked how he pleaded for illegal possession of a gun in the country, illegal possession of a machine gun, possession of an unregistered machine gun and destruction of a phone laptop part of a federal investigation. .
He faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the first three counts, as well as up to 20 years and a fine of $ 250,000 for destroying cell phone evidence.
“Today’s admission of guilt shows how [Mathews] was ready to go and support extremist activity, ”Rachel Byrd of the FBI said in a press release issued by the US Department of Justice.
“This investigation and the guilty plea underscore the continuing threat we face from domestic extremist groups.”
Just a few months ago, Mathews pleaded not guilty to these crimes.
He is accused of acting as a recruiter for The Base while in Manitoba, before moving to the United States in 2019.
Prosecutors allege in court documents Mathews filmed himself pleading for killing people, poisoning water supplies and derailing trains to incite civil war in the name of creating an “ethno -State “white.
He was arrested in Maryland in January 2020 and charged with entering the United States illegally, and charged with offenses contained in his plea agreement. He was also charged with two counts of transporting a firearm across state borders with intent to commit a felony, to which he also pleaded guilty.
Mathews was also arraigned Thursday on additional charges of alleged offenses in Delaware.
He was charged with being in the country illegally while armed, possessing a machine gun, transporting a firearm and ammunition across state borders with the intention of committing a crime and obstruct justice.
Mathews pleaded guilty to everything except the machine gun charge.
In April, Mathews was also charged with aggravated animal cruelty and theft of cattle in what is described as a pagan ritual beheading of a goat or ram during a paramilitary training camp. in Georgia.
Mathews’ mother Kim Monk said she wished her son had got help after a reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press infiltrated the base and identified him as part of the group.
“He needed a lawyer, he needed a psychiatrist, a psychologist. He needed a group of people to hear why he was involved, ”she said from her rural Manitoba home.
She hopes he will get that help now as a result of this guilty plea.
Plea agreement details crimes
Mathews’ plea deal detailed his flight from Manitoba after the Winnipeg Free Press article appeared.
After Mathews crossed the border illegally, he went into hiding from authorities in Virginia and Georgia, attending various training camps organized by The Base.
Months later, Mathews secured an apartment in Delaware with another member of The Base. There, he learned how to make a gun using an online video and discussed how to finish building it with his roommate.
FBI agents saw Mathews at a public shooting range in Maryland with the gun and he was seen shooting at it in January.
Weeks later, federal arrest warrants were issued and Mathews smashed his cell phone and dropped it in the toilet to cover up evidence.
Those details were shared in court on Thursday, and Mathews said he agreed with the statement of facts.
Another co-conspirator, William Garfield Bilbrough, has previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport and harbor an alien – Mathews – and was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Mathews co-accused Brian Lemley is also expected to plead guilty on Thursday afternoon.
Mathews will remain in custody until his conviction on October 28.