Militia Member Arrested For Impersonating Border Patrol Agent

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A member of an armed group identified for stopping migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border has been arrested after authorities charged him with impersonating a U.S. Border Patrol agent, based on courtroom paperwork.

Jim Benvie, spokesman for the Guardian Patriots, who’ve been camped on the border close to Sunland Park, New Mexico, was arrested on Friday in Oklahoma after a warrant was issued on Wednesday in southern New Mexico.

The Division of Justice filed two federal prices, alleging that Benvie, 44, handed himself off as a Border Patrol agent in mid April.

It was the second arrest to focus on members of armed teams that since February have been patrolling the border close to Sunland Park. The teams say they’re making an attempt to assist overwhelmed Border Patrol brokers cope with a surge in arrivals of Central American migrant households.

{News} images of Benvie taken in March confirmed him sporting a camouflage jacket with a badge studying “Fugitive Restoration Agent” and a patch with an eagle-head insignia.

In Reuters interviews earlier this 12 months, he denied his group posed as Border Patrol brokers and mentioned he was a citizen journalist documenting proof of the necessity for the border wall promised by U.S. President Donald Trump.

William Early, an Oklahoma public defender representing Benvie, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Benvie stays in federal custody pending a detention listening to scheduled for Tuesday in Oklahoma earlier than his full trial begins in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

He additionally faces a fraud cost in Oklahoma for allegedly operating a child-cancer charity rip-off.

In Could, the Guardian Patriots break up from one other armed group on the border, the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP).

Larry Hopkins, the chief of the UCP, was arrested in April on prices of being a felon in possession of firearms.

On the time, the American Civil Liberties Union described the UCP as a “fascist militia” and mentioned its members have been illegally detaining migrants at gunpoint.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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