Militia group leader reveals plot to assassinate Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
The United Constitutional Patriots is a right-wing militia which primarily operates in Southern New Mexico and detains alleged illegal immigrants
An armed militia leader of a group, which has held hundreds of migrants at the US-Mexican border, claimed that the group was training to assassinate former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The news was revealed after court documents linked to the group were unsealed on Monday. The United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) is a right-wing militia, which primarily operates in Southern New Mexico, and detains alleged illegal immigrants.
The probable cause statement said that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents visited Larry Mitchell Hopkins' Flora Vista, New Mexico, residence in November 2017 after they learned of the alleged statement made by the leader. Witnesses also reported spotting members of militia with firearms at the home, according to a CNN report.
The FBI reportedly found nine weapons and ammunition during the search, the court documents stated. Hopkins, also known as Jonny Horton Jr., was charged on Monday for possession of firearms and ammunition recovered in the 2017 search. He now faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment if convicted.
The 69-year-old was arrested on Saturday and made his first court appearance in a federal courtroom in Las Cruces on Monday. The UCP leader was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he had previously been convicted of at least three felonies, including criminal impersonation of a peace officer in Oregon in 2006.
Hopkins' attorney Kelly O'Connell, while talking to reporters in New Mexico, said that his client has pleaded not guilty, adding that the ammunition did not belong to Hopkins.
"According to the charges that I read, this is not dealing with what is happening down here," O'Connell said, referring to the militia's presence at the border, according to KTSM.
According to an FBI agent's probable cause statement, reports to one of the federal agency's tip line in October 2017 alleged "militia extremist activity" in Flora Vista. Court papers stated that Hopkins was eventually identified as the group's commander and his home was the group's "base". The documents also stated that witnesses had seen nearly 20 militia members "armed with AK-47 rifles and other firearms" at Hopkins' residence.
"Hopkins also allegedly made the statement that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, because of these individuals' support of Antifa," according to court papers.