Neo-Nazi Linked to Violent Racist Group ‘The Base’ Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment by Maryland Judge
A neo-Nazi activist has been sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Maryland for plotting violent actions against the US government.
20-year-old William Garfield Bilbrough IV was convicted of conspiracy to transport and harbor Patrik Mathews, a white supremacist and former soldier in the Canadian military who illegally entered the US in 2019.
Both Mathews and another extremist — Brian Mark Lemley Jr., a US Army veteran — are on trial in Delaware, where they shared a house, for allegedly planning a gun massacre of civilians.
The case against Bilbrough formed part of a larger investigation of “The Base,” a violent neo-Nazi organization that first emerged on the US scene in 2018. In January, authorities in Georgia and Wisconsin arrested four other men linked to the group.
According to research by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), members of “The Base” portray themselves as “vigilante soldiers defending the ‘European race’ against a broken ‘system’ that has been infected by Jewish values.”
The group’s founder is American-born Rinaldo Nazzaro, who now lives in Russia.
Sentencing Bilbrough on Tuesday, US District Judge Theodore Chuang said that his punishment was for his actions, not his extremist ideology.
“Regardless of the viewpoints of ‘The Base’ and its members, the law cannot tolerate the kind of violence that you were facilitating,” Chuang said. “You got yourself off this path before it got too far into violence.”
In a separate statement, US Attorney Robert Hur praised local law enforcement for apprehending Bilbrough, Mathews and Lemley before the group was able to execute a mass atrocity.
“Lives were saved due to the skill and dedication of law enforcement in this case,” Hur noted. “William Bilbrough and his cohorts intended to inflict violence on the basis of their racist and hateful beliefs. As long as violent extremists take steps to harm innocent people, we will continue to use all of the tools we have to prevent and deter them.”