Scott Warren was charged with trespassing on federal land while providing water to immigrants crossing the border.
Federal prosecutors dropped the final charges Wednesday against humanitarian worker Scott Warren for trespassing on federal lands while providing support for immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Warren was arrested in 2018 for offering shelter, food, and water to two individuals traveling from Central America to the United States. Originally charged with two counts of harboring and one count of conspiracy, Warren’s first court ruling ended in a mistrial. The case was picked up by prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office of Arizona, but was deemed not guilty by the jury.
With federal charges out of the way, the only legal battle left for Warren was a misdemeanor charge for trespassing on Organ Pipe National Monument. According to KGUN9, Warren had been found guilty of trespassing by Federal District Judge Raner, and was awaiting sentencing when charges were dropped.
“This case has been going on for two and a half years and it ended with the government throwing in the towel at the very last second,” Warren’s attorney, Greg Kuykendall, told reporters. Why any of us taxpayers should be paying for that kind of legal representation is a reasonable question.”
Prosecutors gave no reason for dropping the charges, but Kuykendall believes they did not think they could win on appeal. Warren’s defense for trespassing was based on his religious beliefs that he had a duty to help migrants, and Kuykendall says he is confident the appeals court would have sided with Warren on religious grounds.
Prosecutors said they have no plans to re-file the charge, lifting the weight of legal troubles off of Warren’s shoulders for the first time in nearly three years.