LeBaróns Cry Foul on Relatives’ Illegal Weapons Possession Arrest
By KELIN DILLON
On Sunday, Aug. 7, five members of the LeBarón family – a group of Mormon relatives settled in Mexico’s Chihuahua desert who were thrust into the spotlight after the mass murder of nine members of ther family in November 2019 – were reportedly arrested for carrying high-caliber weaponry exclusively designated for use by the Mexican Army.
The arrested individuals, who were identified as Jesi Nefi LW, Jethro LS, Joel Nefi LS, Hiram Nefi LS and Nefi Dayer LM, were purportedly caught by the authorities on the Chihuahuan highway from Casas Grandes to Benito Juárez carrying four rifles and one AR-15 automatic rifle among their persons at the time of the incident.
However, politician, activist and LeBarón family member Alex LeBarón dismissed the charges through his public Twitter account on Monday, Aug. 8, claiming his relatives’ arrests were made arbitrarily and with other irregularities throughout the arrest process. According to LeBarón, a group of hitmen were allegedly trespassing and stalking the house of his cousins and even went so far as to attack one of the family’s workers, prompting the relatives to warn the rest of the community about the unresolved danger.
“Full of fear, they left their house through the back window and hid with their children. While this was happening, several members of the community notified the municipal police and approached my cousin’s house to try to protect her,” wrote LeBarón on Twitter.
“Instead of taking action, the police illegally detained members of the community. It is completely false that the weapons they brought in the vehicles were for the exclusive use of the army. It has already been proven that they all brought hunting rifles that have the corresponding permits.”
LeBarón said that all of his family’s confiscated rifles were acquired legally and to the letter of the law.
“My cousin’s house was surrounded by hitmen, first it was some cousins with hunting rifles and when they asked the corrupt Nuevo Casas Grandes (NCG) authorities for help, they were beaten and arrested. My cousin and her children are fine. The situation is surreal,” added Julian LeBarón, fellow activist and Alex LeBarón’s uncle, claiming the AR-15 was falsely planted on his relatives by the police.
Alex LeBarón went on to say that his family had regularly expressed their concerns over the ethics and efficacy of the area’s municipal police in the past, and compared their situation as one reflective of the relationship of citizens and the police across Mexico – one filled with “corrupt police, arbitrary arrests, planting of evidence and false accusations.”
The news of the arrest caused a stir among the Chihuahuan Mormon community in which the LeBarón’s reside, culminating in a confrontation between its residents and the police and causing the municipal police to call on Mexico’s National Guard for additional aid with the situation.
The LeBarón family has been at loggerheads with the leftist administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) since the 2019, which remain basically unsolved.