LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The leader of an armed group that has been detaining asylum-seeking families from Central America near the Mexican border said two years ago that he was training supporters to assassinate Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and billionaire Democratic supporter George Soros, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
The FBI declined to comment on why it waited to bring charges against Larry Hopkins following a search in 2017 but his arrest follows widespread criticism after videos surfaced of their members carrying firearms and detaining groups of immigrants crossing the border.
Members of the group the United Constitutional Patriots say they want to draw attention to immigration violations and assist federal law enforcement in patrolling the border.
Hopkins, 69, made an initial appearance in federal court on Monday, two days after the FBI arrested him on charges of possession of firearms by a felon. He was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, a suburb of El Paso, where his group has been stopping migrants, alerting the Border Patrol and ordering them to wait until agents arrive.
He will plead not guilty at a hearing next week in Albuquerque, said Kelly O'Connell, his attorney. He is being held without bond.
Hopkins allegedly invited an FBI agent into his home in 2017 and showed him at least nine weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition. According to the complaint, he first told the agent that the weapons belonged to his live-in girlfriend, but then referred to one of the weapons as his.