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  • Larry Hopkins, 70, was the “national commander” of the far-right United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) militia.

    Larry Hopkins, 70, was the “national commander” of the far-right United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) militia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 January 2020
Opinion

Hopkins, who has four previous felony convictions, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, US$250,000 in fines and penalties and three years of supervised release.

United States leader of a far-right armed militia Larry Hopkins, 70, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal weapons charges, prosecutors and a defense lawyer informed.

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FBI Arrests Leader of Militia Stopping Migrants in New Mexico

A U.S. Attorneys’ spokeswoman said that during a hearing in federal court in New Mexico, Hopkins had admitted to being in possession of nine firearms and ammunition for those weapons at the time of his arrest in April.

Hopkins, who has four previous felony convictions, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, US$250,000 in fines and penalties and three years of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the coming months.

The perpetrator was the “national commander” of the far-right United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) militia. Back in April, Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton, was detained on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition by the FBI.

His arrest came as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) branch of New Mexico warned the UCP were illegally detaining migrants, approximately 300 people, mainly from Central America seeking asylum. 

The ACLU has described them as a "fascist militia organization" and that the group is a product of the Trump administration’s “vile racism” that “has emboldened white nationalists and fascists to flagrantly violate the law.” It is mainly made up of military veterans.

UCP members have been patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border near Sunland Park, New Mexico, since late February in search of undocumented border crossers. They post near-daily videos showing members dressed in camouflage and armed with semi-automatic rifles holding groups of migrants until U.S. Border Patrol agents arrive.

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