An Arizona Teacher Helped Migrants. Jurors Couldn’t Decide if It Was a Crime.
TUCSON — For 15 years, volunteers have trekked into the Arizona desert to place jugs of water, canned beans and blankets in spots where migrants traverse the most treacherous reaches of the borderlands. When those provisions have been unable to help, the volunteers have searched for migrants who are missing, and for the remains of those who have died.
Increasingly, these kinds of efforts have landed people in jail. In 2017, a summer that saw a brutal heat wave, several volunteers with the group No More Deaths were arrested on federal misdemeanor charges for placing water in a federally protected wilderness area. The stakes were raised significantly in 2018, when Border Patrol agents set up surveillance near one of the humanitarian bases and filed three felony charges against Scott Warren, a 36-year-old geography teacher who helped a pair of migrants from Central America who had arrived there hungry, dehydrated and with blistered feet.
Mr. Warren’s case resulted in a mistrial Tuesday, after jurors said for a second day that they were unable to reach a verdict. Judge Raner C. Collins of the Federal District Court in Tucson set a conference for July 2 to discuss how to proceed.