Leader of Unauthorized New Mexico Militia Arrested by the FBI
Increasingly hostile rhetoric about the US/Mexican border led to one militia group taking the law into their own hands. The group, called The United Constitutional Patriots, attempted to detain nearly 300 migrants in New Mexico.
Hopkin’s criminal past has exacerbated the charges against him. The Daily Beast reports, “Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who runs The United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), an armed border militia group that spreads far-right conspiracies and rounds up asylum seekers on the border, was arrested by FBI in New Mexico Saturday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.”
Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s Attorney General, said, “This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families. Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”
The group, however, said they were authorized to detain the migrants. A member told the Daily Beast, “There’s no question about whether or not we work with Border Patrol. That’s all documented, and not just once. It’s documented hundreds and hundreds of times over in the videos that I post.”
The CBP, though, denies the groups claims. A Border Patrol spokesperson said, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.”