Border militia leader arrested on federal weapons charges
An outspoken member of the American Patriots, a group of armed citizens patrolling the U.S.-Texas border near Brownsville, was arrested Monday
By Aaron Nelsen
San Antonio Express-News
BROWNSVILLE, Texas — An outspoken member of the American Patriots, a group of armed citizens patrolling the U.S.-Texas border near Brownsville for the past several weeks, was arrested Monday on a federal weapons charge.
Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Kevin Lyndel Massey, 48, on a felon in possession of a firearm charge in Brownsville.
“There was a federal arrest warrant for him,” said Frank Ortega, resident agent in charge of the Brownsville Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “We located him at a hotel and took him into custody without incident.”
Massey, who is from Quinlan in North Texas, was convicted of burglary in 1988, and was arrested Monday on a sealed warrant. He was denied bond during an initial federal court appearance Tuesday, and is scheduled to appear before a grand jury Friday in Brownsville.
Massey’s family posted on Facebook that agents had also seized weapons in his North Texas home.
Known simply as “KC,” Massey was among the first to arrive on the border to set up Camp Lonestar on a 21-acre private ranch a short distance from the Rio Grande.
A ragtag group of men, largely from out of state and with questionable training, patrol a section of riverfront for undocumented immigrants crossing from Mexico.
Though some locals support their efforts, others in the community have expressed concern about the presence of armed strangers who sometimes fired their weapons.
Massey’s arrest is the latest American Patriot run-in with law enforcement in South Texas.
On Aug. 29, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, while chasing immigrants thought to be entering the country illegally, fired several rounds at an armed American Patriot walking near the banks of the Rio Grande.
In September, another American Patriot was arrested on a third-degree felony charge that alleged he left a 9 mm handgun, for which he carried no license, in a convenience store bathroom.
When another American Patriot from Indiana attempted to claim ownership of the weapon, he was charged with a misdemeanor for making a false report to Cameron County sheriff’s investigators.
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