Three men connected to a white supremacist organization are facing federal charges related to plans of transporting a gun and ammunition across state lines with plans to commit a crime.
Citing a law enforcement official, the New York Times reported Thursday that the men were planning to travel to Richmond on Monday to attend a Second Amendment rally.
Thousands of gun-rights supporters are expected to come to Richmond Monday for a rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gov. Ralph Northam has announced a temporary ban on weapons in Capitol Square.
Brian Lemley, Patrik Mathews and William Bilbrough were arrested by the F.B.I. in Maryland and Delaware early Thursday, the Times reported.
A federal criminal complaint filed in Maryland on Wednesday alleges that the three men had purchased parts to create an assault rifle that can fire more than one round at a time, and practiced shooting with it at a Maryland gun range.
On Jan. 7, one of the men purchased 1,500 rounds of 5.56 millimeter and 6.5 millimeter ammunition, according to court records.
“Oh, oops, it looks like I accidentally made a machine gun,” one of the men, Lemley, told another, according to an affidavit filed by FBI agent Rachid Harrison.
The men are members of a white supremacist organization named “The Base,” the complaint reads. Members of the group regularly discuss the creation of a white ethno-state and plans to commit acts of violence against other racial and ethnic groups, the document says, along with recruitment and ways to manufacture explosive devices.
One of the men, Mathews, is a Canadian citizen and crossed the border into the U.S. illegally near Minnesota last August.
He is being charged with possessing a firearm and ammunition illegally. The other two men, Lemley and Bilbrough, are being charged with harboring an undocumented immigrant.