The leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, the New Mexico-based militia group who has been posted along the U.S.-Mexico Border since mid-February, was arrested by the FBI on Saturday morning, according to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, goes by the alias “Johnny Horton Jr.” and has identified himself previously as the National Commander of the United Constitutional Patriots. A video of the militia detaining about 300 migrants near the Anapra Border Fence went viral earlier this week, resulting in the ACLU and New Mexico AG Hector Balderas to send statements of concern.
The FBI says they arrested Hopkins with the assistance of the Sunland Park Police Department. He is charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
After Hopkins’ arrest Saturday morning, Balderas sent a statement that reads:
“This is 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, not armed vigilantes.”
The United Constitutional Patriots have continued to post videos of migrant apprehensions on their Facebook page since the large apprehension during the early morning hours of April 18. Later in the afternoon, the group apprehended a group of about 10 migrants from El Salvador and a separate group of 15 Brazilian migrants in the same area.
A police report obtained by KTSM from Klamath County Oregon, reveals that Hopkins was arrested there in November 2006 after he was allegedly talking with a group of juveniles at a store showing them guns and talking to them about fugitive hunting.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputy wrote that Hopkins had identified himself to a witness as an employee of the Federal Government working directly under George Bush. He told the group he was doing drug stings in the area and hunting for fugitives.
During the arrest in Oregon, Hopkins was wearing a uniform style shirt, black pants and wore a badge similar in style to a police badge. The badge read “Fugitive Recovery Agent,” and the insignia badge on Hopkins’ shirt also read “Special Agent.”
During that arrest, Hopkins was in possession of a taser, two Ruger Blackhawk pistols, caliber 30 carbine and a Winchester model 94 lever action rifle caliber 30.30. He was also in possession of ammunition for those weapons.
A criminal history search indicates that Hopkins was previously arrested in Custer County Idaho by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Stanley Police Department for similar interactions with law enforcement. A federal conviction resulted from those arrests.
Documents relating to Saturday’s arrest of Hopkins in Sunland Park were not immediately available, but are expected to be released early next week. He is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces on Monday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m.