Leader of militia that detained migrants ordered to remain jailed pending trial

Leader of militia that detained migrants ordered to remain jailed pending trial
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A U.S. magistrate judge ruled Monday that a militia leader arrested in New Mexico on weapons charges must remain jailed ahead of his trial, according to CNN.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen B. Mozen ruled that “clear and convincing evidence” demonstrated "no condition ... of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community” in the case of militia leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who was arrested April 20 after viral footage of him joining other members of the right-wing militia group the United Constitutional Patriots in detaining migrants.


Mozen cited Hopkins’s past use of aliases and a series of probation violations and failures to appear in court as ordered in justifying her decision. Hopkins is facing charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. He pleaded not guilty Monday, according to CNN.

Hopkins, 69, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to the news outlet. According to an FBI special agent’s affidavit, federal agents found nine firearms and ammunition in Hopkins’s possession in November 2017 despite his multiple felony convictions, including impersonating an officer in Oregon in 2006.

Hopkins was reportedly attacked last week in detention and hospitalized with broken ribs, prompting his attorney, Kelly O'Connell, to condemn Mozen's ruling.

"This guy is very high profile. So, if he gets put into jail and is immediately attacked after his first hearing just a few days after being put in there, can Dona Ana County correctional protect high-profile defendants?" O'Connell told Reuters.