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Two Delaware men among alleged extremists arrested ahead of Richmond gun rights rally

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Delaware Public Media
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Three alleged members of a violent extremist group — including two living in Delaware— have been arrested by the FBI on gun and immigration charges. 

The FBI says Brian Lemley, Patrik Mathews and William Bilbrough are members of the white supremacist organization “The Base,” which has discussed creating a white entho-state and committing violence against minority communities in encrypted chatrooms. 

A law enforcement official told NPR Lemley, Mathews and Bilbrough discussed going to a planned pro-gun rally in Virginia next week.

Lemley and Mathews, who is a Canadian citizen in the U.S. illegally, have lived in Newark since last fall, according to the FBI. 

The two men allegedly fabricated a functioning assault rifle from gun parts. They are charged with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony, among other offenses. An FBI agent claims Lemley ordered 1,500 rounds of ammunition last week. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency and banned weapons on state Capitol grounds ahead of the gun rights rally planned for Richmond Monday.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.