FBI arrests alleged white supremacists planning to attend Jan. 20 rally
The FBI has arrested three alleged members of a white supremacist group believed to be planning to attend a pro-gun rally in Richmond on Monday.
The three – Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, Patrik Jordan Mathews, 27, and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19 – were arrested at residences in Delaware and Maryland and taken into custody without incident.
The men are accused of being in possession of a machine gun and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and body armor parts, according to the Justice Department, who says the three are members of the international white supremacist group known as The Base.
The arrests come on the heels of Wednesday’s news that Gov. Ralph Northam had declared a state of emergency in advance of the expected demonstrations on Capitol Square on Monday.
A release from the governor’s office sent out to announce the state of emergency reported that law enforcement intelligence analysts had identified “credible threats of violence” surrounding the event, along with white nationalist rhetoric and plans by out-of-state militia groups to attend.
The declaration prohibits all weapons, including firearms, from Capitol grounds, and will provide joint law enforcement and public safety agencies the resources they need to keep demonstrators, policymakers, and all Virginians safe.
The emergency declaration is temporary, and extends from Friday, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. until Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m.
The full text of Executive Order Forty-Nine is available here.