Federal agents arrested the leader of a New Mexico militia group who was training to assassinate former President Barack Obama, the FBI said.
According to the FBI, Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, and his group United Constitutional Patriots, also plotted to target Hillary Clinton and billionaire George Soros.
According to an affidavit by Special Agent David Gabriel, the Patriots had about 20 members armed with AK-47 rifles, among other firearms.
Mr. Hopkins appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday, charged with being a convicted criminal in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
He was arrested over the weekend, just days after the group hit the headlines for detaining migrants in the desert near the US-Mexico border.
The right-wing group argues it is helping US Border Patrol to deal with a surge in migrants crossing America’s southern border, but their actions – caught on camera – earned widespread condemnation from civil rights groups and local officials.
Hopkins faces up to 10 years in prison, probation and $250,000 in fines, according to the FBI.
Under US law, convicted felons are generally prohibited from possessing firearms, and the FBI states Mr. Hopkins has “at least one prior felony conviction”.
A detention hearing has been scheduled for next week, and Mr. Hopkins remains in custody until then.