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Federal judge orders alleged militia leader be held in jail until trial

A federal magistrate judge has ordered the leader of an armed group that detained asylum-seeking families near the U.S.-Mexico border to remain jailed as he awaits trial on a federal firearms charge.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins pleaded not guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms during a detention hearing Monday in Albuquerque.

A federal prosecutor argued Hopkins posed a flight risk and danger to the public if released, citing his history of felony convictions, and use of aliases.

The charge against Hopkins stems from a 2017 visit by an FBI agent to his home in New Mexico.

Hopkins’ attorney questioned prosecutors’ argument that the 69-year-old posed a threat, given two years had passed between the 2017 encounter and his arrest April 20 in Sunland Park, New Mexico.


A federal court hearing has reconvened after an evacuation in legal proceedings against the leader of an armed group that detained immigrants at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Attorneys and court officials returned Monday to a hearing for Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who is being held on a weapons charge, after the courtroom was cleared without explanation by the U.S. Marshals Service.

The charge stems from a 2017 visit by an FBI agent to his home in New Mexico.

His arrest on April 20 followed widespread criticism after videos surfaced of members of the United Constitutional Patriots carrying firearms and detaining groups of immigrants crossing the border.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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