Leader Of Vigilante Group That Detained Asylum Seekers Arrested (Video)

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports hate groups proliferating across the country increased to a record high of 1,020 in 2018.

Some of those hate groups are armed vigilantes posing as legitimate law enforcement.

Last week, the FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition days after his group posted videos displaying armed men detaining asylum seekers at the U.S./Mexico border in New Mexico, ordering them to sit on the ground, and coordinating with U.S. border patrol agents to have them apprehended.

Hopkins was the leader of a group called the United Constitutional Patriots that boasts illegally capturing scores of asylum seekers, causing a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official to comment:

“Interference by civilians in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequence for all parties involved. Border Security operations are complex and require highly trained professionals with adequate resources to protect the country.”

In addition to targeting asylum seekers, however, Hopkins also boasted about training to assassinate former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.

12 years ago, Hopkins was arrested in Oregon for impersonating a police officer.

United Constitutional Patriots member Jim Benvie defended his group’s actions, stating:

“We’re just Americans. We’re veterans, we’re ex-law enforcement, we’re people who care about the over-strained Border Patrol.” 

Last week the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused Hopkins’ United Constitutional Patriots of being a fascist, white nationalist militia illegally detaining and kidnapping Central American asylum seekers.

On Tuesday, Larry Hopkins was attacked at the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces, NM.

Image credit: Heavy.com

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Op-Ed News, Liberal Nation Rising, and Zoedune.