Two members of a white nationalist terror group were sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison, BBC reported
The pair, Brian Mark Lemley, 35, and Patrik Jordan Mathews, 29, were members of the Base, and pleaded guilty to charges in June. Prosecutors sought a 25-year sentence for them, while their lawyers sought sentences of 33 months, ABC News said.
Prosecutors recommended 25-year prison sentences for both men. Lawyers for each defendant sought prison sentences of 33 months.
Mathews, a Canadian citizen and Canadian Army reservist, fled his home country after being exposed by the Winnipeg Free Press. He moved to the US state of Georgia, where he engaged in military-style training exercises with the Base, BBC added.
Lemley served in Iraq as a US Army cavalry scout before returning home and receiving a diagnosis of PTSD, the site noted.
Both of them were recorded plotting a violent attack to bring down the US government. Previously, they had pleaded guilty to immigration charges connected to transporting Mathews, providing a weapon to an illegal alien, obstruction of justice, and transporting a gun across state lines to commit a crime.
They were not found guilty of violent crime, but the judge who sentenced them concluded that the intended to engage in terrorist activity, ABC News reported.
According to ABC, US District Judge Theodore Chuang said the conversations recorded captured the "virulence" and "passion" in the pair's willingness to kill people and bring down the US government.
"The court rejects the notion that this was merely talk among friends," the site quoted Chuang as saying.
US Attorney Erek Barron, who prosecuted the case, told a news conference, "These sentences make clear that their hateful efforts failed. These men sought to divide our community based on hate."
A third co-defendent in the case, William Garfield Bilbrough IV, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to helping Mathews enter the US illegally in 2019, ABC added.