No verdict yet in human-smuggling case in Tucson federal court

The jury in the trial of Scott Warren left the federal courthouse in Tucson on Monday without reaching a verdict. Their deliberations will continue Tuesday, June 11.

Judge Raner C. Collins said the jury could not reach a consensus on a verdict in the three human-smuggling charges against Warren. So far, the jurors have deliberated for more than 11 hours, Collins said.

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, the 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 with No More Deaths were charged for similar efforts on the refuge.

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