Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests armed group member stopping migrants at southern USA border

Border Patrol agents search the Rio Grande River for illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico into the United States on Monday

Border Patrol agents search the Rio Grande River for illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico into the United States on Monday

The FBI arrested the leader of an armed militia group that has become infamous for patrolling the U.S. -Mexico border and apprehending illegal migrants until Border Patrol officers arrive.

The FBI Albuquerque division said that Hopkins, who is also known as Johnny Horton Jr., was arrested with the assistance of the Sunland Park Police Department.

The American Civil Liberties Union's New Mexico chapter on Thursday called on their governor and attorney general to investigate the UCP.

One UCP member, who declined to be named, said the group are US military veterans who carried weapons for self defense but that they never pointed guns at migrants, as has been reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a weekend statement that it did not support citizens taking law enforcement into their own hands, and instead encouraged them to report suspicious activity to officials.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher told The Associated Press that Hopkins was in custody but said no additional information would be released until after Hopkins has an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Las Cruces.

CNN has reached out to the United Constitutional Patriots for comment, but has not heard back.

The FBI said it arrested 69-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins, of Flora Vista, in Sunland Park.

The UCP describes itself as a "patriot group" helping U.S. Border Patrol cope with record numbers of Central American families crossing the border to seek asylum.

In the footage, people wearing full military fatigues can be seen with handguns strapped to their sides, wearing gloves and black face masks.

The militia, made up mostly of veterans armed with guns and other tactical gear, had volunteered to help the Border Patrol agents deal with a wave of immigrants in the vicinity of Sunland Park, New Mexico until President Trump's wall is built there.

In at least two videos posted on the group's Facebook page, a man in fatigues verbally identifies himself as "Border Patrol" when stopping a group of migrants.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News, group member Mark Cheney said that the group would be "fools" not to be armed when interacting with immigrants.

What does the video show?

Mexican troops disarmed two U.S. soldiers on the American side of the border, it has been revealed.

On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico condemned the United Constitutional Patriots, which patrols the southern USA border in New Mexico, as a "fascist militia organization" operating outside the law.

The checkpoints had been closed temporarily after agents were relocated to assist migrant processing to prevent drugs and illegal immigrants from crossing the border, but that apparently hasn't stopped the influx of illegals who enter the state at non-designated crossings.