Federal prosecutors in Tucson, Arizona announced they will seek to retry Scott Warren on two charges of harboring undocumented immigrants. In lieu of another trial, which is currently slated for November 12, prosecutors also offered Warren a plea deal on Tuesday, offering to drop the harboring charges if he pleads guilty to aiding and abetting illegal entry without inspection.
Warren was arrested in January 2018 and accused of giving two migrants from Central America—Kristian Perez-Villanueva of El Salvador and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday of Honduras—food, water, and a place to sleep for three nights. He is a volunteer with No More Deaths, an advocacy organization that works to stop migrant fatalities that occur as they cross the dangerous stretch of Arizona desert along the southern border. Warren testified that his crimes amounted to nothing more than human kindness.
Prosecutors argued during the initial proceedings that the case was “not about humanitarian aid,” but that Warren had intentionally worked “to shield illegal aliens from law enforcement for several days.” Border Patrol agents testified that they observed a conversation between the two migrants and Warren in which he pointed to the mountains nearby. Although they admitted they could not hear the contents of the discussion, they said they assumed he was coaching them on how to avoid a Border Patrol checkpoint.
Several founders of No More Deaths provided their own supporting testimonies, explaining that they developed legal protocols for their volunteer work in line with those of the International Red Cross.