Watch how Scott Warren's case fits among other human-smuggling cases in Tucson's federal court in 2018.

The Star created a searchable database of 361 felony human-smuggling cases filed in Tucson's federal court in 2018.

The Arizona Daily Star created the most detailed publicly-available database on human smuggling in Southern Arizona.

What does the database show?

The database shows all felony cases filed under the federal human-smuggling statute in U.S. District Court in Tucson. The database includes information on more than 360 cases filed in 2018, such as the location of the arrest, the smuggling method, the number of migrants involved and the citizenship of the defendant

What does the database NOT show?

The database does not show magistrate court cases or petty offenses.

Where did the information come from?

The Star regularly gathers information on cases at the clerk’s office at the federal courthouse in downtown Tucson. That information is used to keep a running tab of all felony cases. The tally starts with case “1” each year and runs through the final case of the year.

The Star then compared the case numbers in that tally with the results of a search of the court system’s online records for human-smuggling cases. The Star’s tally was more comprehensive than the search results.
Why did the Star publish this database?

Immigration and cross-border smuggling are key political issues. The enforcement of related laws is funded by the taxpayer and directed by elected and appointed officials.

Federal court records are available to the public, but they are expensive and the online record system is unwieldy. Without a systematic accounting by an outside party, such as a newspaper, the public would not know how those laws are enforced.