Man charged with impersonating federal agent to be released

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Oklahoma City says the spokesman for a group of armed civilians that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border and who has been jailed on charges that he impersonated a federal agent should be released to a halfway house.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Shon Erwin on Tuesday ordered 44-year-old James Christopher Benvie of Albany, Minnesota, to be released to a halfway house in Las Cruces, New Mexico, once authorities find a place for him.

A grand jury in New Mexico indicted Benvie last week on two counts of impersonating a Border Patrol agent in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, on April 15 and 17.

Erwin also ordered Benvie to find a job, wear a GPS monitoring device and stay at least 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from the U.S.-Mexico border once placed at the halfway house.

Prosecutors alleged Benvie was a flight risk.

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