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Judge agrees to 'terrorism enhancement' in case of ex-Canadian Armed Forces reservist

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GREENBELT, Md. — A judge in Maryland has agreed to include a "terrorism enhancement" when he sentences former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Mathews later this week. 

The enhancement, which applies in cases where a crime is deemed to promote federal terrorism offences, means a maximum penalty of 25 years behind bars. 

Mathews, 28, from Beausejour, Man., and U.S. army veteran Brian Mark Lemley Jr. both pleaded guilty to weapons charges in connection with a white supremacist plot to violently trigger a race war in the United States.

The plot, revealed through FBI wiretaps, surveillance and conversations with an undercover operative, revolved mainly around a scheme to violently disrupt a gun-rights rally at the state capitol in Virginia in January 2020. 

After a daylong hearing, U.S. District Court Theodore Chuang ruled that the enhancement would apply, although he was quick to note that a decision on their actual sentences would come later. 

The two are scheduled to appear for a scheduling hearing Thursday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press