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Get an understanding of the differences between misdemeanors and felonies in New Mexico. Farmington Daily Times

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FARMINGTON — A Flora Vista man who identified himself as a leader of a group of armed volunteer border patrollers was sentenced to nearly two years in prison on a federal firearms conviction.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 70, also known as Johnny Horton Jr. was given a year and nine months prison sentence on April 15 during a hearing in Albuquerque federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Hopkins plead guilty on Jan. 2 to being a felon in possession of a firearm and faced up to 10 years in a federal prison.

He has previously identified himself as the national commander of the United Constitutional Patriots, a group described by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas as armed vigilantes.

The armed members of the group detained undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States near the Mexican border.

Hopkins' conviction stems from a November 2017 visit to his Flora Vista residence by two FBI agents, as he showed the agents at least nine weapons and ammunition.

He was arrested on April 20, 2019, by the FBI and Sunland Park police then indicted four days later.

Hopkins said in the plea agreement he possessed firearms including handguns, rifles and a shotgun along with ammunition for the weapons.

He also admitted to convictions including impersonation of a peace officer and failure to pay legal child support.

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