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SUNLAND PARK, N.M. (Reuters) – The leader of an armed militia that put in two months rounding up migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border prior to he was arrested on federal weapons rates was hospitalized soon after a jailhouse attack, his attorney and authorities explained on Wednesday.
Larry Hopkins, 69, whose group of self-styled citizen border cops drew condemnation from civil liberties advocates, suffered damaged ribs in the beating by fellow inmates on Tuesday at the Dona Ana County Detention Middle in Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to his attorney, Kelly O’Connell.
Hopkins was arrested on Saturday by the FBI on an excellent warrant accusing him of being a felon in illegal possession of firearms, a charge relationship back to a 2017 look for of his house.
The detention facility, about 200 miles south of Albuquerque, verified that Hopkins was “the alleged victim” of a Tuesday night attack and stated the incident was beneath investigation.
“Hopkins was offered medical focus for non existence-threatening accidents,” county spokeswoman Kelly Jameson said in an e-mail. She later told Reuters that Hopkins had been transferred from the jail on Wednesday and turned more than to the U.S. Marshals Assistance.
She mentioned Hopkins was overwhelmed by a few other inmates in the jail’s tv viewing area, and no weapons ended up located. Jameson reported she had no data on what precipitated the violence.
The attack happened the very same day that Hopkins’ United Constitutional Patriots group deserted its encampment in Sunland Park, New Mexico, in which they had used two months patrolling a five-mile stretch of the border and mentioned they detained thousands of migrants they caught hoping to cross into the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union last 7 days denounced the UCP as team of “fascist” vigilantes impersonating regulation enforcement to basically kidnap Central American family members trying to find asylum.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, ordered an investigation of the team. UCP members insisted they were performing at the behest of U.S. Border Patrol agents.
O’Connell, who said on Wednesday he experienced spoken with Hopkins by mobile phone, questioned the jail’s potential to secure a “very superior-profile” inmate, but stated he did not know why Hopkins was specific. A UCP spokesman, Jim Benvie, said he believed it was due to the fact of Hopkins’ exercise at the border.
“They put him in a pod cell with a group of people, and they had just bought completed looking at the write-up about the ACLU writing about him becoming racist, and as a final result of that he was attacked,” Benvie explained in a video clip posted on the web.
Hopkins was currently being held without bail pending a detention hearing set for Monday in Albuquerque.
Benvie claimed the UCP was going to a different campsite in a pair of times and would continue to support the U.S. Border Patrol, which has stated it does not support private citizens acting as law enforcement.
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