AP NEWS

Leader of armed border group pleads guilty to gun charge

January 3, 2020 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The leader of an armed group that detained asylum-seeking families near the U.S.-Mexico border has pleaded guilty in New Mexico to a federal firearms charge.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The conviction stems from a 2017 visit by an FBI agent to Hopkins’ home in northwestern New Mexico.

Hopkins was arrested April 20 in Sunland Park, New Mexico, near the U.S. border with Mexico where his group has been stopping migrants and ordering them to wait as they alerted Border Patrol.

He acknowledged knowingly possessing nine guns.

Hopkins faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

He had previous felony conviction in Michigan for possession of a loaded firearm and convictions in Oregon for impersonating a police officer and possessing a firearm.