FBI Arrests New Mexico Militia Head On Guns Charge

Slate reports:

The FBI arrested on Saturday the head of a right-wing militia that had been detaining migrant families at gunpoint. Law enforcement officers arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who went by the alias Johnny Horton Jr., in New Mexico on charges of firearms possession by a felon.

Hopkins had previously been arrested in 2006 on charges of impersonating an officer and for felony firearm possession.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, said in a statement. “Today’s arrest by the F.B.I. indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

Reuters reports:

The arrest came two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the group of illegally detaining migrants and New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation.

Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

“We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), blaming his arrest on political pressure from Lujan Grisham.