April 23, 2019 / 8:49 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Armed militia group leaves New Mexico camp -police

(Corrects name to Guerra from Correa in paragraphs 3 and 4)

By Julio-Cesar Chavez and Andrew Hay

SUNLAND PARK, N.M./TAOS, N.M., April 23 (Reuters) - A group of armed civilians who have been stopping migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border honored a request to leave their camp in New Mexico on Tuesday and appeared to be heading home, the local police chief said.

On Monday, their leader Larry Hopkins appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to face firearms charges following his arrest on Saturday by the FBI.

Sunland Park, New Mexico, Police Chief Javier Guerra said the group left their campsite outside the town following a request by the Union Pacific Railroad, which said they had trespassed on its land.

"It appears there's a little bit of disenchantment among the ranks there, they're not happy with the outcome with Mr. Hopkins," Guerra said. "They were saying they're just tired of this B.S. and they're going back to their homes."

Union Pacific said on Tuesday in a statement that the group, the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), did not have permission to be on its property.

UCP spokesman Jim Benvie previously said the group would comply with the railroad's request and it planned to relocate to a nearby site and continue patrolling the border.

Benvie and other members of the UCP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Union Pacific spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Julio-Cesar Chavez in Sunland Park, New Mexico; editing by Richard Chang, Howard Goller and Sonya Hepinstall)

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