On Saturday, the FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton Jr., for being a felon with firearms and ammunition in his possession. Hopkins is the leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, a self-proclaimed militia group that has been under fire recently for holding asylum-seekers on the U.S.-Mexico border at gunpoint, USA Today reports.
The FBI said in a statement that agents, with help from the Sunland Park police in New Mexico, arrested the 69-year-old from Flora Vista “on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.”
The United Constitutional Patriots announced an "emergency" on Saturday afternoon following the arrest of their commander at a site near the border and solicited donations for a fundraising effort. According to Doña Ana County records, Hopkins was apprehended at 11:55 a.m. on a federal warrant and is being detained without bond. The leader of the militia group that has posted videos of armed citizens holding migrant families at gunpoint is expected to appear on Monday before the U.S. District Court in Las Cruces.
The United Constitutional Patriots has drawn intense criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union and Attorney General of New Mexico Hector Balderas for detaining and threatening nonviolent migrants at the border.
“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas said Saturday. “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.”