Border militia group member charged with impersonation of a US border patrol agent

Border militia group member charged with impersonation of a US border patrol agent
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A right-wing militia group member that was seen on video detaining people along the U.S.-Mexico border on suspicion of crossing illegally was arrested for impersonating a Border Patrol agent.

Two Facebook live videos obtained by CNN depict United Constitutional Patriots member Jim Benvie, identifying himself as a member of "U.S. Border Patrol" while detaining a group of suspected undocumented immigrants along the border while armed.


One video, reportedly shot on April 15 in New Mexico, depicted Benvie saying "U.S. Border Patrol, what are you guys doing?" to a group of migrants who later sought asylum. Other recording show him telling groups of migrants in Spanish to stop, and detaining them.

He was reportedly arrested Friday and now faces up to three years in prison for two counts of impersonating a member of Border Patrol, a sub-agency of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Benvie previously served as a spokesman for the now-shuttered United Constitutional Patriots, a right-wing militia group that operated along the U.S.-Mexico border until its founder was arrested on felony weapons charges.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Hochul makes New York the 31st state to have had a female governor New Mexico indoor mask mandate returns with new vaccine requirements MORE (D) said in April that it was "completely unacceptable” that migrant families “might be menaced or threatened in any way, shape or form when they arrive at our border.”

“It should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone,” she added at the time.