Federal grand jury indicts militia group leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins
ALBUQUERQUE - A federal grand jury in Albuquerque has indicted Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a 69-year-old leader of a militia that was patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border in Sunland Park.
Mitchell, 69, of Flora Vista, was indicted on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The charge doesn't specifically relate to Hopkins' activities at the border but rather to a federal investigation from 2017.
Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton, Jr., is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 29 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen B. Molzen in the federal courthouse in Albuquerque. Hopkins also is scheduled for a detention hearing at the same time.
The indictment charges Hopkins with knowingly possessing firearms and ammunition in San Juan County, New Mexico, in November 2017, despite having been convicted of at least one of the following felony crimes, which were punishable by at least a year of imprisonment: being a felon in possession of a firearm; impersonating a peace officer; and possession of a loaded firearm by a convicted felon, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The FBI, along with Sunland Park police, arrested Hopkins on Saturday, April 20 in Sunland Park.
Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots, appeared for the first in federal court in Las Cruces on Monday. Later that same day, he was attacked while in the Doña Ana County Detention Center, which has bed space for federal detainees. Federal authorities removed Hopkins from the county jail on Tuesday, taking him elsewhere.
If convicted on the charge in the indictment, Hopkins faces a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment, according to prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney's Office noted that charges are formal accusations, and defendants are considered innocent until a conviction occurs.
According to prosecutors, the case was investigated by the Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI with assistance from the Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI.