A federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday charges three alleged members of the racially motivated violent extremist group "The Base" with firearms and alien-related charges, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

The complaint charges Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, of Elkton, and Newark, Delaware, and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, with transporting and harboring aliens and conspiring to do so. Lemley is also charged with transporting a machine gun and disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an alien unlawfully present in the United States.

The complaint also charges Lemley and Canadian national Patrik Jordan Mathews, 27, currently of Newark, with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. The complaint also charges Mathews with being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The three men were believed to be planning to attend the pro-gun rally planned for Monday in Richmond, Virginia, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an active investigation.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and banned all types of weapons from the gun rally, citing reports that armed militia groups were planning to attend. The Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gunowners of America filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking an injunction specifically against the ban on firearms.

According to the criminal complaint, within The Base's encrypted chat rooms, members have discussed, among other things, recruitment, creating a white ethno-state, committing acts of violence against minority communities (including African Americans and Jewish Americans), the organization's military-style training camps and ways to make improvised explosive devices, prosecutors said in a statement.

Lemley previously served as a cavalry scout in the U.S. Army, and as of August 2019, Mathews, a Canadian citizen in the United States illegally, was a combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve.

Prosecutors said an affidavit alleges that on Aug. 19, 2019, Mathews unlawfully crossed from Canada into the United States near the Manitoba/Minnesota border. On Aug. 30, 2019, Lemley and Bilbrough allegedly drove from Maryland to Michigan to pick up Mathews, and all three men returned to Maryland on Aug. 31, 2019, prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 3, 2019, the three men drove from Virginia to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where Bilbrough lived. Lemley and Mathews then continued to Elkton, where Lemley obtained a motel room for Mathews, prosecutors said. The following day, Lemley drove Mathews to Delaware, where Lemley rented an apartment in which the two have resided since that time, prosecutors said.

According to the affidavit, in December 2019, Lemley and Mathews used firearm parts and assembled a functioning assault rifle. They also attempted to manufacture the controlled substance DMT.

Lemley, Mathews and Bilbrough are accused of discussing The Base's activities and spoke about other members of the organization. Mathews also allegedly showed the assault rifle to Bilbrough, who examined the assault rifle and returned it to Mathews, prosecutors said.

According to the affidavit, in January, Lemley and Mathews bought about 1,650 rounds of 5.56 mm and 6.5 mm ammunition; traveled from Delaware to a gun range in Maryland, where they shot the assault rifle; and retrieved plate carriers (to support body armor) and at least some of the purchased ammunition from Lemley's prior residence in Maryland.

If convicted, Lemley and Bilbrough each face a maximum sentence of five years for transporting and harboring certain aliens and 10 years for conspiracy to do so. Lemley also faces a maximum of five years in prison for transporting a machine gun in interstate commerce and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an illegal alien. Lemley and Mathews each face a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for transporting a firearm and ammunition in interstate commerce with intent to commit a felony offense.

Mathews faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.