Leader of armed border group sentenced on gun charge


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The leader of an armed group that detained immigrants who were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into southern New Mexico has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for a federal firearms charge.

This April 20, 2019 booking photo from the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office shows Larry Hopkins. Authorities say that Hopkins, 69, the leader of a group that has detained asylum-speaking migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, was injured while he was jailed in Las Cruces, N.M., after being arrested on federal weapons charges. The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday, April 24, 2019 in a statement that Hopkins was transferred Tuesday out of the county jail after suffering non-life threatening injuries Monday night. (Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, was sentenced Wednesday in Albuquerque. He had pleaded guilty in January to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He acknowledged knowingly possessing nine guns and ammunition.

Hopkins was arrested in April 2019 in Sunland Park, N.M., near the U.S. border with Mexico where his group had been stopping migrants and ordering them to wait as they alerted Border Patrol.

Hopkins had faced up to 10 years in prison. He had a previous felony conviction in Michigan for possession of a loaded firearm and convictions in Oregon for impersonating a police officer and possessing a firearm.

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