Member of the Violent Extremist Group “The Base” Pleads Guilty in Maryland to Federal Charges for Transporting an Illegal Alien—A Fellow Base Member Whom He Knew Was Planning to Engage in Subversive and/or Criminal Activity in the United States
Defendant Sentenced To Five Years In Federal Prison After Pleading Guilty; Admits Attending Three Base Training Camps Where He Received Military-Style Training
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang today sentenced a member of the racially motivated violent extremist group “The Base” William Garfield Bilbrough IV, age 20, of Denton, Maryland, to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Bilbrough pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport an alien and to transporting the alien, specifically, a fellow member of The Base.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; United States Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.
“Preserving our nation’s security against terrorist threats continues to be the Justice Department’s top priority. Lives were saved due to the skill and dedication of law enforcement in this case. 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,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur.
“Today's admission of guilt shows how far Mr. Bilbrough was willing to go to support extremist activity,” said Jennifer C. Boone Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. “This investigation and the guilty plea underscores the continuing threat we face from domestic extremist groups. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain fully prepared to take actions necessary to safeguard our communities.”
According to his plea agreement, Bilbrough was a member of The Base, a racially motivated violent extremist group. Since 2018, The Base has built a coalition of white supremacist members within the United States and abroad through, among other things, online chat rooms, in-person meetings, propaganda, and military-style training. Bilbrough participated in a regional training camp conducted by members of The Base in Georgia from August 2 through August 4, 2019, including participating in tactical training and firearms drills. Later that month, Bilbrough attended another Base training camp in a different state.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on August 30, 2019, Bilbrough and a co-conspirator traveled in the co-conspirator’s truck from Maryland to southern Michigan to pick up a member of The Base who had fled from Winnipeg, Canada and illegally entered the United States. Bilbrough admitted that he knew the person they were picking up had entered the United States illegally and that they were picking him up in order to transport him to the East Coast where he could safely reside and continue his participation in The Base. Bilbrough and his co-conspirator remained in Michigan for approximately two hours, after which all three men headed back east. Bilbrough drove at least part of the time and was dropped off at his house in Maryland on the evening of August 31, 2019. Bilbrough brought back a few souvenirs, including a flag for The Base and a book widely distributed in white nationalist circles.
Bilbrough acknowledged that on about October 30, 2019, Bilbrough’s co-conspirator picked him up at his Maryland residence and the two drove to Georgia to attend a training camp at the property of another member of The Base. The illegal alien whom they had picked up in August was already residing at the Georgia property and also attended the training camp. While in Georgia, on November 2, 2019, Bilbrough and his co-conspirator purchased approximately 1,550 rounds of 5.56 ammunition for $558.54. Later that day, Bilbrough, his co-conspirator, and the illegal alien traveled from Georgia to Maryland, with Bilbrough driving at least part of the way.
As detailed in the plea agreement, as of November 2019, Bilbrough’s co-conspirator and the illegal alien lived at a residence in Delaware. Bilbrough visited the Delaware residence on at least one occasion. On December 21, 2019, Bilbrough arrived at the Delaware residence and handled an assault rifle that the illegal alien had constructed with the co-conspirator’s assistance and encouragement. Bilbrough and the two men discussed an upcoming rally in Virginia, activities of The Base, and other members of the organization. Bilbrough also discussed with them the manufacture of DMT (dimethyltryptamine), a controlled substance, and attempted to actually manufacture DMT. Bilbrough stated that he may try to sell DMT to the people to whom he delivers pizza and stated that he knew DMT was illegal and that it was a felony to have DMT.
Bilbrough admitted that he knew the illegal alien had entered the United States to engage in subversive activity or other serious criminal activity, and had never disavowed that purpose while Bilbrough transported and otherwise interacted with the illegal alien.
Federal charges in Maryland and Delaware remain pending against two other alleged members of The Base, Brian Mark Lemley, age 34, of Elkton, Maryland, and Newark, Delaware; and Canadian national Patrik Jordan Mathews, age 28, most recently of Newark, Delaware. Both defendants have motions pending and no trial date has been set. The defendants remain detained.
United States Attorneys Robert K. Hur and David C. Weiss commended the FBI Baltimore Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and ATF for their work in the investigation, and thanked U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland State Police, and the Delaware State Police for their assistance. Mr. Hur and Mr. Weiss thanked their offices’ national security prosecutors, who are handling the case.
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