The FBI arrested the leader of a New Mexico militia days after reports that the group has been detaining migrants at gunpoint as they try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials say that Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who is the “national commander” of the United Constitutional Patriots, was taken into custody and is facing charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Hopkins was convicted of impersonating an officer and felony gun possession in 2006.
"This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families," New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said. "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 arrest comes after the American Civil Liberty Union wrote a letter to Balderas and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham demanding an investigation into videos which showed the militia holding groups of migrants, which included children until Border Patrol agents arrived.
Photo: Dona Ana County Detention Center