On Monday, a militia leader who had an arsenal of weapons and vowed to train members to kill Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, CNN reports.
The charges stem from a November 2017 arrest and search of Larry Mitchell Hopkins’ Flora Vista, New Mexico home. According to witnesses, Hopkins and militia members kept a bevy of firearms at the home, the probable cause statement said.
According to court papers, an FBI searched turned up nine weapons and ammunition, according to a criminal complaint.
“Hopkins also allegedly made the statement that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, (a billionaire investor and philanthropist) Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,” according to court papers.
Hopkins, 69 is also known as Johnny Horton Jr.
On Monday, Hopkins appeared in a federal courtroom in Las Cruces. He was arrested Saturday.
Hopkins is also being accused of holding migrants at the border after a video went viral last week, appearing to show migrants being held by the militia. Then they were turned over to the US Border Patrol. The video showed militia members in military fatigues with handguns and wearing gloves and black masks.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico condemned the militia called the United Constitutional Patriots’ unlawful actions and likened it to kidnapping.
The ACLU released this letter:
“Dear Governor Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Balderas:
Two nights ago, on April 16, 2019, an armed fascist militia organization describing itself as the United Constitutional Patriots arrested nearly three hundred people seeking safety in the United States, including young children, near Sunland Park, New Mexico. Other videos appear to show arrests in the past few hours.
The vigilante members of the organization, including Jim Benvie, who posted videos and of the unlawful arrests to social media, are not police or law enforcement and they have no authority under New Mexico or federal law to detain or arrest migrants in the United States. Their actions undermine the legitimate efforts of our state’s law enforcement officials to keep New Mexico families safe and they erode community trust.
The Trump administration’s vile racism has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law. This has no place in our state: we cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum. We urge you to immediately investigate this atrocious and unlawful conduct.”
Hopkins’ hearing had been set for April 29. He has been previously convicted of three felonies and is prohibited from having firearms and ammunition.