Border militias eye Arizona - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Border militias eye Arizona

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Organizations that watch militia activity say the groups are again eyeing Arizona after several years of decreased activity.

Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center told CBS 5 Investigates his organization has seen a spike recently. The increase corresponds to news reports of the surge of Central Americans crossing into the United States illegally. Potok said that is not good news.

"When you have people running around the border attempting to carry out citizens arrests, armed to the teeth, nothing but trouble can result," Potok said.

He pointed to the murder conviction of Shawna Forde, the murders of a Gilbert family by JT Ready, and child molestation charges against Chris Simcox as examples. All three were members of the Minuteman Project, a militia group that gained national recognition beginning in 2005.

But one current militia member told CBS 5 Investigates his motivation, and the goal of other members like him, is to stop drug smuggling, not to target illegal immigrants.

"We're looking out for our community," said the man, whose identity CBS 5 News agreed to conceal in exchange for the interview. "If that 500 pounds of marijuana hits Interstate 8, where's the first place it's going to go? Could it go to your kids?" he asked.

The man said there are more than 12 members of his organization, and he conducts missions in the desert south of Phoenix.

"Usually, we try to position ourselves inside the drug corridors where they (drug smugglers) just run into us," he said. "As long as they're not belligerent with us, as long as they're not threatening us, we treat them as human beings."

The leader of a new Minuteman group recently called for thousands of volunteers to descend on the border next year in an effort to stem the tide of illegal immigrants, including children, from Central America.

But the member who spoke to us was not affiliated with that group. He said he's not sure a massive group of militia members is a good idea.

"I feel like it does open it up to too many people that we just don't know. Just because somebody has a similar ideology to you doesn't mean they're exactly the same, or they're good," he said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Oklahoma restaurant shooting victims recovering

    Oklahoma restaurant shooting victims recovering

    Saturday, May 26 2018 4:03 AM EDT2018-05-26 08:03:40 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:56 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:56:44 GMT
    (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...(Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed...More >>
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed bystanders.More >>
  • The Latest: Rep: "Hero teacher" released from hospital

    The Latest: Rep: "Hero teacher" released from hospital

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-26 14:46:33 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:56 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:56:23 GMT
    (Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Empty school buses leave after a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding another stu...(Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Empty school buses leave after a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding another stu...

    The family of a student wounded during a school shooting in Indiana says she is in critical but stable condition.

    More >>

    The family of a student wounded during a school shooting in Indiana says she is in critical but stable condition.

    More >>
  • US states prepare as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads north

    US states prepare as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads north

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-05-26 09:23:12 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:56 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:56:00 GMT
    A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

    More >>

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly