Undocumented migrants as they appeared in a video taken by members of a militia who detained them.

 

(Image: Screengrab of militia video as it appeared last month on CNN.)

‘Put Them All in a Gas Chamber,’ Said Border Militia Member: Report

“Why are we just apprehending them and not lining them up and shooting them,” a border militia member in New Mexico is alleged to have said of border migrants that the group had been monitoring.

“We have to go back to Hitler days and put them all in a gas chamber,” the militia member, Armando Gonzalez, is also alleged to have said. Gonzalez did not respond to multiple requests for comment by TYT.

The disturbing comments appear in an April 24 police report containing allegations by a former member of the militia group. The former member, Steven Brant, contacted the Sunland Park Police Department to notify them of what he called “terroristic threats” he had witnessed by the group. The report was produced by the Sunland Park Police Department and was obtained by TYT through a public records request.

On April 18, the border militia, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), sparked national outrage after reportedly detaining about 200 border migrants, including several children, at gunpoint. After video surfaced appearing to show UCP impersonating Border Patrol — a federal offense — the FBI arrested UCP’s leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins.

Although the police report obtained by TYT does not mention UCP by name, Daniel Carranco, Sunland Park City Clerk, confirmed to TYT that UCP is the group referenced.

The police report is an interview of a militia member named Steven Brant who told police he went by the codename “Viper.” On April 23, an article in The New York Times about UCP mentions both Gonzalez and quoting a “balaclava-clad militia member who gave his name only as Viper.” Brant did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TYT.

Judging from the article, Brant seemed an ardent supporter of UCP’s agenda prior to his decision to contact the Sunland Park PD.

“We’re here to protect Americans from the illegals violating our sovereignty,” Brant told the Times, espousing a commong talking point among Trump supporters.

“It’s my God-given right to be here," he said. "The guys in Washington say one thing about not wanting us on the ground but no one from the Border Patrol here has ever told me they don’t want our help."

Indeed, the report suggests that UCP enjoys the support of Border Patrol, stating that Brant “was a part of the group who was assisting Border Patrol with observation of subjects crossing the border illegally.”

Asked to confirm the Sunland Park PD claim that UCP was assisting, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official did not respond directly. The official told TYT, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not endorse or condone private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands. Interference by civilians in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequences for all parties involved. Border Security operations are complex and require highly trained professionals with adequate resources to protect the country.”

However, the official also noted that “Border Patrol welcomes assistance from the community and encourages anyone who witnesses or suspects illegal activity to call.”

So why did Brant become disillusioned?

According to the police report, on the night of April 24, Brant and other UCP members had been monitoring the border when they observed several people crossing. Brant told police that another member, identified as Armando Delgado Gonzalez, then handed him a handgun and ran to his vehicle and grabbed an AR-15.

An internal police report obtained by TYT includes a militia member's account of what another member said about killing undocumented immigrants.

(Image: Screengrab of Sunland Park, NM, internal police report.)

Brant said he gave Gonzalez back his gun and told him to put the weapons away since they were only to observe and report activity. Brant said Gonzalez then became upset and made the remarks about Hitler and gassing their detainees.

Brant told police that he was going to start a new group “that followed the law.”

Although Gonzalez did not respond to TYT's requests for comment, the Times article includes several quotes from him about his motives.

“If you ask me this is all about politics,” Gonzalez told the Times. “The Democrats want illegal immigration because that means more votes for them.”

“But I took an oath to protect my country and what’s happening on the border is an invasion threatening our people,” Gonzalez said. “These men [UCP] are patriots and I'm proud to stand alongside them.”

According to the Times, Gonzalez identified himself as an Army veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ken Klippenstein is a senior investigative reporter for TYT. He can be reached securely via Signal at 202-510-1268, on Twitter @kenklippenstein or via email: [email protected].

Follow TYT Investigates on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to stay on top of exclusive news stories from The Young Turks.

Getting ready...
00:00 / 00:00