A man committed to a federal psychiatric facility for threatening to shoot federal judges in 1998 told a federal judge Wednesday that he wants to move to Mexico and no longer wants to be a U.S. citizen.
Benjamin Archuleta appeared in U.S. District Court to be sentenced for lying on an ATF background check form that he had never been adjudicated as mentally defective nor committed to a mental institution when he attempted to purchase a firearm in 2005.
Court documents indicate that Archuleta had been indicted for making threats by telephone to shoot federal judges in 1998. Angry over trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his worker's compensation claim, he allegedly told a court clerk, "The only way to get justice is to shoot those judges."
After being warned by the U.S. Marshall's office, Archuleta reportedly said "God's wrath" would destroy the courthouse and allegedly later told a clerk, "I will go to the judge's house and I will write on his face with a knife and stab him in the heart."
He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Mo., in July 1999. For some reason, he later returned to Salt Lake City.
In court Wednesday, Archuleta sidestepped his attorney to tell U.S. District Judge Dee Benson that he wanted to move to Mexico.
"U.S. conceptions are not my conceptions," Archuleta said. "You are not my people."
Benson asked who Archuleta believed his people to be. He claimed he was of Apache/Ute and Spanish heritage. Archuleta also said he did not believe in Western medicine and did not want to be forced to take medication for his mental illness.
Benson noted that his record showed he was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia with "significant psychotic symptoms." Archuleta also has a long history of arrests for violence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Huber said he was concerned about Archuleta going off his medication.
"The ancient natives believed in visions," Archuleta told the court.
Benson noted that Archuleta had already served 27 months in federal custody, which was more than the penalty for his crime for lying on an ATF form. "I'm stumped. I don't know what to do," Benson said.
Archuleta said he had applied for a passport and wanted to move to Mexico and become a Mexican citizen.
Benson placed Archuleta on two years supervised release and ordered him to continue to receive mental health treatment and to take medication."I believe in freedom," Benson said, adding if Archuleta can show he is not a threat to himself or others, he could come back to the court and petition to move to Mexico. Benson warned that if he did not comply, he would find himself back in federal custody.