April 20 (UPI) — A member of an armed militia that had been rounding up migrants has been arrested by the FBI in New Mexico, according to reports.
Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a 69-year-old New Mexico resident, was arrested for possessing a firearm as a felon.
Hopkins reportedly belongs to a group called United Constitutional Patriots, which appears to have detained migrants in a video posted to Jim Benvie’s Facebook wall on Wednesday.
Please see below release: pic.twitter.com/hFte1F1vNQ
— NM Attorney General (@NewMexicoOAG) April 20, 2019
“Border patrol has never asked us to stand down,” Benvie said.“If these people follow our verbal commands, we hold them until border patrol comes.”
Hector Balderas, attorney general in New Mexico, called Hopkins: “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, no armed vigilantes.”
Balderas added that Hopkins is: “a member of the armed group of individuals reportedly detaining migrants near Sunland Park, New Mexico.”
On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico sent a letter to Balderas and Governor Lujan Grisham that raised concerns about the detainments by United Constitutional Patriots.
“It should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone,” Grisham said. “If migrant families are made to feel threatened, that’s completely unacceptable.”