The leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants who cross into the US from Mexico once boasted about training to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros, an FBI agent said in court papers on Monday.
Larry Mitchell Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), whose camouflage-wearing armed members claim to have helped US officials detain some 5,600 migrants in New Mexico’s desert in the last 60 days, was arrested on Friday on a weapons charge.
The UCP claims to have the support of US border patrol at a time when the agency is overwhelmed by record numbers of asylum-seeking Central American families.
Critics including the American Civil Liberties Union accuse the UCP of being vigilantes who illegally detain and kidnap migrants by impersonating law enforcement.
UCP spokesman Jim Benvie previously said the group was helping the border patrol and publicizing the “border crisis”. He was not immediately available for comment.
Crowdfunding sites PayPal and GoFundMe last week barred the group, citing policies not to promote hate or violence, after the ACLU called the UCP a “fascist militia”.