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Judge dismisses border activist’s misdemeanor conviction

Scott Warren - NBC News
NBC News
Border activists Scott Warren outside the courtroom after his November 2019 acquittal

Jury acquitted Scott Warren on other charges in November

TUCSON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A federal judge has dismissed a misdemeanor conviction against a Tucson border activist who was accused of harboring illegal immigrants and helping them elude the Border Patrol.

A jury found Scott Warren not guilty of those charges in November. However, Warren was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of driving in a wilderness area.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion to dismiss that count. A federal judge granted that motion Thursday. The decision came on the same day he was supposed to be sentenced for the misdemeanor conviction.

Warren works with the humanitarian group No More Deaths based out of Ajo. The group leaves water in desert areas frequently traveled my migrants. It also operates and emergency medical facility for migrants.

In January of 2018, Border Patrol agents found him in that facility with two Central American men. Prosecutors said neither man was in need of medical attention, and should not have been let into the camp. They also accused Warren of telling immigrants how to get into the U.S. without encountering Border Patrol agents.

Warren insisted he was on a humanitarian mission. Prosecutors did not agree. They tried him twice. The first trial ended with a hung jury. The second ended in acquittal on all felony charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the dismissal does not protect Warren from future prosecution, should he break the law.

“While we continue to evaluate appellate options after an adverse ruling in a similar case, we want to ensure consistency in our prosecution of these violations moving forward,” said United States Attorney Michael Bailey.

"But to be clear, these groups must follow the law, even when delivering true humanitarian aid, and we will continue to prosecute those who intentionally help illegal immigrants evade law enforcement detection while deceptively cloaking their illegal acts as ‘humanitarian aid.’”

A representative for No More Deaths says the group will continue its work in spite of the threat of prosecution.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.


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