Former leader of NM border militia pleads guilty to federal weapons charges

Border Crime

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The leader of a militia group that posted up near the Mexico-New Mexico border pleaded guilty to firearm charges on Thursday in Albuquerque.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins was arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition on April 20, 2019, in Sunland Park, N.M.

He was head of the United Constitutional Patriots at the time of his arrest. His group had been stopping migrants and ordering them to wait as they alerted Border Patrol.

A complaint affidavit said that FBI agents saw the firearms in Hopkins’ possession during a 2019 visit to his home in Flora Vista, N.M. Court documents show that Hopkins admitted to having these guns illegally.

Agents were alerted to his home because witnesses saw members of the United Constitutional Patriots with rifles and other guns. Hopkins had also allegedly told someone that they, “were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, because of these individuals’ support of Antifa.” 

According to the criminal complaint, Hopkins had nine firearms and ammunition in November 2017 at his home in San Juan County, N.M. Hopkins was prohibited from owning firearms because he was convicted of at least three felonies, including “possessing a loaded firearm in the state of Michigan in 1996; being a felon in possession of a firearm in the state of Oregon in 2006; and impersonating a peace officer in the state of Oregon in 2006,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release said.

Hopkins could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and be fined up to $250,000 probation.

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