An armed militia member who came under fire last week by border patrol agents is a convicted felon who is not legally permitted to carry a gun.
John Frederick Forester was not injured in the Aug. 29 incident, when a U.S. Border Patrol agent was chasing suspects through thick brush near the Rio Grande when he encountered the militia member holding a shotgun or rifle.
The agent fired several shots, and Forester immediately dropped the firearm.
Records show Forester has two misdemeanor convictions in 1999 and 2001 for theft and trespassing and a felony conviction for burglary of a building, reported KRGV-TV, and he served time in prison.
Texas law prohibits convicted felons from using guns before the fifth anniversary of their release from prison, but federal law bans felons from ever owning firearms.
The Cameron County sheriff turned over the investigation to the FBI, and it’s not clear whether Forester will be charged in the incident.
The commander of the militia group, which was not identified, told reporters that he checked if applicants were on probation or parole but did not perform a full background check.
He said the border patrol did not identify himself before shooting, and he accused the sheriff of mishandling the investigation.
Forester, who is from Brownsville, said he plans to stay with the militia patrolling the border.
“I’m still going to be out there,” he said. “I’m still going to be vigilant. I might be a little louder towards the agents so that they know that I’m there. I might even put a red strobe light on my forehead so that they can see, (but) I’m not leaving.”
Watch this video report posted online by Jane Doe: