Chris Simcox

Chris Simcox, who a decade ago helped launch a border-watch group in Arizona, has been arrested in Phoenix on suspicion of having sexual contact with three girls under the age of 10, police say.

Simcox, 52, was arrested Wednesday in Phoenix, according to reports.

He’s been booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted molestation of a child.

Police didn’t immediately release any details about the allegations.

They say detectives with the Family Investigations Bureau developed probable cause to arrest Simcox.

Police say Simcox has denied the allegations.

They didn’t immediately know Wednesday afternoon if Simcox has an attorney yet.

Simcox has had legal and family troubles over the years.

In 2010 news reports, an ex-wife alleged he threatened to kill their family. In April 2004, a federal judge sentenced Simcox to two years of probation for carrying a firearm on national forest property.

Simcox used the Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper, which he owned, to announce the formation of a border-patrolling volunteer ‘militia’ in 2002.

Soon he formed a group called Civil Homeland Defense, and in April 2005 he and Jim Gilchrist, a former reporter and accountant from California, led a monthlong border-watch operation in Cochise County. After the event, Gilchrist formed a group called the Minuteman Project, and Simcox's group was reborn as Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

Chris Simcox resigned as Minuteman president and announced in April 2009 that he would challenge McCain in the GOP primary, but he dropped out of the race.