Jim Benvie claimed he and members of a militia at the US–Mexico border were there to help. Instead, federal prosecutors have charged Benvie with twice impersonating a Border Patrol agent to stop immigrants in New Mexico.
The evidence, it appears, was recorded by Benvie himself for videos posted on his Facebook profile.
In one video, posted April 15, Benvie yells “Stop!” in Spanish at a group of six people from El Salvador seeking asylum in New Mexico.
“US Border Patrol,” he adds. “What are you guys doing?”
Often wearing a camouflage jacket and a badge that reads “Fugitive Recovery Agent,” Benvie — who remained in federal custody for a hearing scheduled for Tuesday — has acted as a spokesperson for two border militias in New Mexico that have detained hundreds of immigrants, sometimes at gunpoint.
Two days after the April 15 video, Benvie posted a second Facebook video of himself talking to viewers and driving along the border wall when a group of people crosses into the US.
“Stop! Stop!” Benvie yells in Spanish before instructing the people to sit on the dirt. “Border Patrol. Right, right.”
The impersonation charges are the latest to be filed against militia members who have stationed themselves at the border in New Mexico for months, posting videos on Facebook on a nearly daily basis to drum up support and financial help.
At first associated with a group known as the United Constitutional Patriots, Benvie and other members splintered off and created a new group after their leader was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. The group, according to court documents, had been training to assassinate former president Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and billionaire George Soros.
The new group, named Guardian Patriots, was hoping to distance itself from United Constitutional Patriots, Benvie told BuzzFeed News in a previous interview.
In pictures and videos posted on Facebook, other members of the United Constitutional Patriots can be seen wearing camouflage clothing and badges that read “Fugitive Recovery Agent.” In some of the pictures, members of the militia are wearing the badges while posing with actual Border Patrol agents.
Most recently, Benvie had been posting videos from a private lot of land in Sunland Park, New Mexico, where the group “We Build the Wall” constructed a crowdfunded border wall.
There, Benvie had told BuzzFeed News in previous interviews that the Guardian Patriots group was helping provide security for the construction site and immediate area. In his videos, Benvie posted videos of the construction and asked people to donate to the group’s efforts, but he insisted Guardian Patriots and We Build the Wall were not affiliated with each other.
In a second, unrelated criminal case, court records show, Benvie was also charged in Oklahoma on Friday with fraud after he was accused of running a scam, in which he allegedly collected donations for a child who had been diagnosed with cancer.
During that arrest in Logan County, Oklahoma, the officer who made contact with Benvie noticed he was sitting at a table and claiming to be collecting cash for a child with cancer. Benvie claimed the child, a friend’s son, had been diagnosed with brain cancer but, when asked, was unable to tell the officer the child’s name.
The child’s father, Eric Cremeens, told the Daily Beast he had been searching for Benvie across four states after hearing he had been running the alleged scam.
“The only thing he’s done is threaten to sue me when we exposed who he was and what he was doing,” he said.
‘Only Survivor’ Reveals Truth of Fatal Accident in 1994 Linked to Ricardo Rossello
It has always been rumored that when Ricardo Rossello was 15 years old, he caused the death of Lilliam Alfonso Nogales and her son on June 25, 1994 when he allegedly drove a vehicle without a drivers license under the influence.
The fault was blamed on the friend of the current governor of Puerto Rico, a young man named Ricardo Molinari Such, who at that time was 21 years old. Today, Jorge Arroyo, son of the deceased graduate and twin brother of the young man who also died in the car accident, reveals that what was said was true.
Posting an emotional video on social networks, Jorge Arroyo, survivor of the fatal accident in which his twin brother Julio Antonio Arroyo and his mother Lilliam Alfonso Nogales, alludes to that night where he lost his loved ones in a traffic accident in 1994 that has been attributed to Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares over the years, expressing his pain being silent since childhood.
“I feel sad that this person is trusted and they return with the bad intention of doing things again in an unfair way. To want to go back to divert things that are clear. Puerto Rico is tired of the injustice. We need a change. How do you know nothing? We all know what you did. This joke has to end,” he said.
About the accident, he accused the governor of not “having the pants” to stay at the scene when the events occurred.
“In my case there are many things that had to be silenced. At the given moment patrols appeared. So-and-so disappeared. They did not have the pants to stay and see what I really saw with my eyes and see my beloved mother and my brother the way they were, “he said.
However, the young man says he forgave the governor.
“The town does not forgive you because you are not sorry. If it’s talking about forgiveness, I forgive you. I forgive you for one of those of all the faults committed at that given moment of the accident where I lost my mother, she lost her life. My twin brother lost his life. I forgive you for that one and all. ”
The events occurred on June 25, 1994, and the case pointed that the person driving was drunk, pointing out that it was awarded to the friend of the governor, Ricardo Molinari Such, who at that time was 21 years old while Ricardo Rosselló Nevares would’ve been 15 years old.
President Trump Offers to Vouch for A$AP Rocky’s Bail in Sweden
Mr. Trump tweeted that during a “a very good call” with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he also “assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk.”
The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight.
Urged on by first lady Melania Trump and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president said Friday that he would intervene to try to free the rapper, whose real name is Rakim May.
“Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!” Trump wrote Saturday after speaking with Lofven.
….Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019
The Swedish prime minister issued a statement earlier Saturday saying he would be glad to speak with Trump about A$AP Rocky’s detention but that his government “cannot and will not attempt to influence prosecutors or courts.”
“I understand that President Trump has a personal interest in the case….He has expressed the desire for a conversation with me, which is certainly positive,” Lofven said. “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”
A$AP Rocky has been behind bars while Swedish police investigate the fight in Stockholm he allegedly was in before appearing at a music festival. Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by A$AP Rocky. A defense lawyer has said it was self-defense.
Other recording artists have spoken on his behalf, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone.
Mr. Trump said at the White House Friday that “many members of the African American community” had called him asking him to help secure the rapper’s release from detention. “I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you he has a lot of support from the African American community in this country,” he said.
Mueller Witness George Nader Charged with Transporting 14-Year-Old Boy For Sex, Child Porn
George Nader, a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, has been charged in a new federal indictment with transporting a 14-year-old boy for sex two decades ago, child pornography and carrying obscene materials into the United States.
The new charges against Nader, a 60-year-old Middle East power broker, were revealed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Nader — who has been an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates — already was being held in jail without bail after his arrest at a New York City airport in early June on a charge of transporting child pornography.
The charge used to arrest Nader at that time was based on an allegation his iPhone contained images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct when he flew into Washington Dulles International Airport in January 2018.
That same allegation is contained in the new indictment charging him with transportation of visual depictions of minors, as well as another count accusing him of importation or transportation of obscene materials.
The third count accuses Nader of knowingly transporting a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington Dulles Airport in February 2000 and then allegedly engaging in sexual acts with that child after taking him to Nader’s home in Washington.
The boy was from the Czech Republic, a prosecutor reportedly said at Nader’s arraignment on Friday.
The Washington Post reported Friday that in 2003 “Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic of what his attorney Christopher Clark described in court as ‘contributing to the moral corruption of society’ after ‘having a relationship with two young men two years under the age of consent.’ ”
The Associated Press said he was sentenced to one year in prison in that earlier case.
Nader pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignement in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, where a judge refused to grant him bail, noting, “the nature of the charges and [his] extensive overseas connections,” The Post reported.
A dual citizen of Lebanon and the United States, Nader is scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 30
He was convicted of a child pornography charge in Virginia in 1991 and sentenced to six months in prison.
Nader faced a similar charge in Washington, D.C., in 1985, but that case was dismissed as a result of an invalid search warrant.
Defense lawyers for Nader did not immediately return requests for comment from CNBC.
Nader helped arrange a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, who reported directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Prince is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, and he is also a supporter of President Donald Trump.
“Nader traveled to New York in early January 2017 and had lunchtime and dinner meetings with Erik Prince on January 3, 2017,” Mueller’s report says.
“Nader and Prince discussed Dmitriev. Nader informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump Administration …. he told Prince that Dmitriev had been pushing Nader to introduce him to someone from the incoming Administration, ” the report says.
The meeting in the Seychelles was set up after Dmitriev asked Nader “to request a meeting with the ‘key people’ in the incoming administration [of President Trump] as soon as possible in light of the [g]reat results ” of Trump’s election victory, according to the report.
Nader has played a role in the diplomatic efforts of some U.S. presidents.
He worked on President George H.W. Bush’s efforts to release hostages held in Lebanon and later was involved in President Bill Clinton’s attempt at reaching a peace deal between Israel and Syria, according to CNN.
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