Neo-Nazis who plotted bomb attack face harsher sentencing after judge declares them domestic terrorists

Neo-Nazis who plotted bomb attack face harsher sentencing after judge declares them domestic terrorists
brown wooden pipe in dark room

Two members of a neo-Nazi paramilitary group were officially declared terrorists in a federal case in Maryland Monday, according to Winnipeg News reporter Ryan Thorpe.

Defendants Patrik Mathews and Brian Lemley Jr. appeared for a joint sentencing hearing in which prosecutors attempted to add a terrorism sentencing enhancement onto the case. Doing so dramatically increases the time the men would spend behind bars.

The men were convicted of planning a bombing attack in Richmond, Virginia but the plot never occurred because law enforcement thwarted it. The prosecution asked for a 25-year prison sentence, but the unsealed sentencing memo quotes the defense attorney calling it, "grossly disproportionate." The excuse was that the terrorist attack never happened.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, ultimately deciding that the men met the standards to be charged with the terrorism enhancement for sentencing.

This is the most recent example of a terrorism sentence in the United States, at a time Americans are asking questions about whether Jan. 6 attackers could be considered terrorists. While the U.S. Patriot Act redefined "domestic terrorism," Section 802 never created a new charge of "domestic terrorism." It makes the sentencing part of a trial the only real option to give additional punishments for acts of domestic terrorism.

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