News ID: 251716
Published: 0304 GMT April 21, 2019

Armed militia leader holding migrants arrested on weapons charges

Armed militia leader holding migrants arrested on weapons charges

The leader of a militia operating along the southern border was arrested by the FBI days after the armed group detained over 200 migrants who had just illegally crossed into New Mexico.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, New Mexico, was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the FBI Albuquerque office said, reported.

Hopkins was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, which lies right on the border with Mexico and is just 8 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas.

"This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families," New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement. "Today's arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, and not armed vigilantes."

The spokesperson for the group attacked Balderas and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for the arrest.

"I am confident that Mr. Hopkins will get though this, will fare well," the militia's spokesperson, Jim Benvie, told El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA, while wearing a red "Trump 2020" hat. "The [New Mexico] AG has declared war on American citizens at the order of the ACLU, instructing the governor, in a sense, to effectively find a reason to remove private citizens from assisting and documenting a crisis on the border. It's really sad that she can't use the resources of the National Guard or even the FBI, if they had to, to help protect the border. Instead, they had to infiltrate and set up our camp, and we're confident about our position with this.

"We're not worried about it. It doesn't change anything," he added.



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