The leader of a right-wing militia group that has been illegally detaining migrants who enter the U.S. through Mexico allegedly bragged that the group’s members had received training to assassinate former President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an FBI agent said in court papers.
Larry Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), appeared in court in on Monday to face charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, reports Reuters.
The FBI said witnesses accused Hopkins of saying his group was planning to assassinate not just Obama, but 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and George Soros, a wealthy supporter of liberal causes
The accusations were made in 2017 during an investigation into “militia extremist activity,” the agency said.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a letter to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham denounced UCP, calling it a band of “armed vigilantes” and a “fascist militia” whose members illegally detain and kidnap migrants by impersonating law enforcement, reports Reuters.
Grisham later ordered an investigation of the group, saying that the practices of the United Constitutional Patriots were unacceptable. Hopkins was arrested a day later.
“Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, of Flora Vista, N.M., was arrested today on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The FBI arrested Hopkins in Sunland Park, N.M., with the assistance of the Sunland Park Police Department,” the FBI said in a statement over the weekend.