Trial of border-aid worker Scott Warren ends as jury unable to reach verdict

Trial of border-aid worker Scott Warren ends as jury unable to reach verdict

Scott Warren speaks to the media and supporters after a jury was unable to render a verdict in his case, on Tuesday, June 11, in downtown Tucson.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of Scott Warren, and U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins declared the trial over on Tuesday, June 11.  

The jury could not reach a consensus in the three human-smuggling charges against Warren after deliberating on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Warren, a 36-year-old aid worker with the Tucson-based humanitarian group No More Deaths, was accused of conspiring to smuggle two Central American men who crossed the border illegally and harboring them at a building in Ajo used as a staging area for border-aid efforts.

In a two-week trial, federal prosecutors said Warren conspired with a nurse and the operator of a migrant shelter in Sonoyta, a Mexican border town south of Ajo, to further the illegal crossing from the border to Phoenix.

Warren’s defense lawyers argued he simply tried to alleviate the suffering of two men who showed up unexpectedly at the building in Ajo, known as The Barn.

The trial was the first time in more than a decade that a Southern Arizona border-aid worker faced felony human-smuggling charges.

In a separate case, Warren awaits the verdict in a bench trial on misdemeanor charges related to driving on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in 2017 to leave water jugs for border-crossing migrants.

Eight other volunteers were charged in connection with similar efforts.

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