While the legacy media latch on to salacious rumors and innuendos emanating from the arrest of United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) de-facto leader Larry Hopkins, the tireless efforts of two dozen American volunteers are rapidly becoming fodder for a dangerous Democrat-inspired narrative.
Hopkins’ arrest a few days ago near the U.S.-Mexico border was the result of a 2017 investigation, in which he was found to be in possession of nine firearms and ammunition, despite having a prior felony conviction. Folks with a lick of common sense are questioning why 2017 transgressions are now connected to what a group of citizens is trying to accomplish in 2019 during a border crisis that appears to be growing by leaps and bounds daily.
Hopkins’ attorney, Kelly O’Connell, claims his client is not guilty of the gun charge and points out it is unrelated to what UCP and its members are trying to do now. “When he got arrested, it made it seem like it was something going on down here. According to the accusations, it happened up north” – and two years ago.”
Yet the headlines from legacy media outlets scream “this commander” of a vigilante group was training members to assassinate former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is filing a lawsuit that “racists” and “white nationalists” are kidnapping illegals at gunpoint. Those on the southern border, however, find these claims beyond outlandish.
In a letter from the ACLU to Governor Grisham and state Attorney General Hector Balderas, the organization urged investigation against the militia group for the detention of up to 300 immigrants. “This has no place in our state: we cannot allow racist and armed vigilantes to kidnap and detain people seeking asylum,” they wrote.
United Constitutional Patriots
In a telephone interview, United Constitutional Patriots spokesperson Jim Benvie explained to Liberty Nation that the group was founded as a “citizen journalist” organization to cover the insurgency of people crossing into the U.S. illegally. They are not a militant group, he claims, but rather a cadre of patriots willing to go to the front lines and video-document the valiant efforts of U.S. Border Patrol.
Many UC Patriots are retired military or law enforcement personnel. Benvie says he is proud to be involved with the group, which he calls American patriots. He scoffs at the language the ACLU used in their lawsuit, which he believes was used for the express purpose of inciting fear:
“We are not a militia. We are not vigilantes. We are men and women from different backgrounds. Our members claim Native American heritage; some are legal immigrants from Central America. We are black, white, brown, but above all else we are Americans. Heck, one of us is even a Gold Star mom. Don’t paint us with one broad brush that fits your (ACLU) narrative.”
Benvie is furious at the aspersions cast on UCP and other groups monitoring the activity on the border. He also indicates that an impressive number of illegals were detained because UCP was overseeing a segment of the border:
“We have helped apprehend – without pointing a firearm at anyone and at times rendering aid until Border Patrol arrived – almost 6,000 immigrants in 60 days in just one five-mile stretch of border. We are just here to help.”
Law and Order at Odds
The controversial and extreme-left governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, tweeted before Hopkins’ arrest: “Menacing or threatening migrant families and asylum-seekers is absolutely unacceptable and must cease.” Shortly thereafter the FBI took Hopkins into custody over two-year-old charges.
New Mexico’s Attorney General, Hector Balderas, another Democrat, doubled down. “Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”
But let’s face it: New Mexico is the state that released Islamic extremists on minimum bail after raiding their compound in Taos County. This, while children on site were being trained to become jihadists. As well, a kidnapped child’s body was recovered from the Taos compound.
LN also spoke with San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari, who has met Hopkins on several occasions in work-related situations. Ferrari says he understands what Hopkins was trying to accomplish but did not endorse UCP’s methods.
“There is a crisis on our state’s southern border, and it will spread throughout our state and neighboring states. But I cautioned Hopkins that if he wanted to help Border Patrol, he should just monitor from a discreet distance for illegal immigrants and then inform federal authorities. It’s a sticky wicket when citizens appear to non-English-speaking border crossers to be armed military.”
Sheriff Ferrari’s warning was prescient, and Hopkins remains in detention.
Hopkins adamantly dismisses out of hand the characterization of UCP as a militia group. Benvie claims the arrest is a directed political hit from the governor’s office in Santa Fe, aimed at deflecting attention from the real crisis by using Hopkins as the poster child for a modern militia. Could Benvie be right? Did the FBI arrest Hopkins to advance Governor Grisham’s agenda on the border?
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