WINNIPEG -- U.S. prosecutors have been granted their request for more time to prepare for the “complex case” against a former army reservist and alleged neo-Nazi, according to court documents.

Patrik Mathews and his two American cohorts, Brian Lemley Jr. and William Bilbrough, with alleged ties to a white supremacy group known as The Base, were arrested in January by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mathews is facing two counts of transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony, being or aiding and abetting an alien in possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a machine gun and an unregistered machine gun, and destroying his cellphone with intent to obstruct an FBI investigation, and a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.

The court documents show that prosecutors requested a government consent motion to extend the trial date beyond the 70-day period normally required under the Speedy Trial Act, citing the facts that it’s a complex case, the discovery in the case is “voluminous,” and that defense counsel can’t “meaningfully prepare for trial or engage in discussions regarding disposition with the benefit of a review of discovery.”

“In light of the complexity of the case, the large amount of discovery, the possibility of disposition, and the relevant scheduling parameters, it is clear that 70 days contemplated by the Speedy Trial Act for discovery, pre-trial motions, and trial preparations will be inadequate,” the motion said,

The prosecutors requested the court schedule a status call during the week of March 9, 2020, saying at this time all parties involved should be able to discuss an appropriate schedule for the case.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted the lawyers request, saying it outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendants to a speedy trial and that the case is sufficiently complex. The judge also ordered that a status call be scheduled for March 2020. 

- With files from The Canadian Press’ James McCarten and CTV’s Danton Unger