Member of civilian militia arrested
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 4/22/19, 10:44 am
Police on Saturday arrested a member of an armed civilian group in New Mexico that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border. Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and impersonating a police officer. He was booked into the Dona Ana County detention center in Las Cruces and is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday. He pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2006 in Klamath County, Ore. Police there said he impersonated a police officer and claimed to be a fugitive bounty hunter.
“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement issued 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.” Federal authorities on Friday told private groups to avoid policing the border after a series of social media videos showed armed civilians detaining Central American families in New Mexico.
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