This is the first in what will be a regular series of updates from the court proceedings of the 9 No More Deaths defendants currently facing federal charges. One of the goals of our legal support team is to demystify this process and keep our community posted as things progress.
Please let us know if there's other information you'd like to see in these updates or you have questions about the charges or cases.
This is gonna be a catchup/refresher on the legal cases so far in addition to an update. Don't worry, they won't all be this long.
If you want to get involved in the campaign against these charges or legal support please come to Campaign Working Group meetings Sundays at 6:30pm at the Global Justice Center at 225 E 26th St, Tucson.
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Scott Warren's Felony case
On February 14 Scott was indicted (formally charged by the U.S. Attorney). He was charged with 2 counts of Harboring Illegal Aliens (1 count for each of the individuals he allegedly harbored) and 1 count of Conspiracy to Harbor Illegal Aliens. All 3 charges are Felonies.
The conspiracy charge alleges that Scott planned or conspired to "harbor illegal aliens" with one or more other individuals. To our knowledge nobody else been charged with this crime at this time. Prosecutors have long used conspiracy charges as a tool for repression against activist groups, including the 188 protestors charged last year with protesting Donald Trump's inauguration (129 defendants had their charges dropped last month) and in a 2006 case against NMD volunteers Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss.
At Scott's court appearance this Wednesday (2/21) he entered a plea of Not Guilty to all charges. He is being represented by local attorneys Greg Kuykendall and Amy Knight. Anna Wright and Nathaniel Walters (Assistant U.S. Attorneys) appeared in court for the U.S. government.
Scott's jury trial in this case is preliminarily set for April 10, 2018 but this is very likely to change. His case will be argued before Chief District Judge Raner Collins.
In 2006, Judge Collins dismissed charges of Transporting Illegal Aliens and Conspiracy to Transport Illegal Aliens against NMD Volunteers Shanti Sellz and Daniel Strauss.
Scott's Misdemeanor case
**Note: Scott has the same(ish) misdemeanor charges as 8 other NMD volunteers. He gets his own section here because he has a different legal team ( he has the same one for both his cases) and different court dates than the other 8**
Scott is separately charged with Operating a Vehicle in a Wilderness Area and Abandonment of Property from an alleged June 1, 2017 incident on Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. Both charges are Misdemeanors.
Scott had a status hearing this Wednesday (2/21). His trial in this case will be a bench trial (the verdict will be delivered by a judge, not a jury) argued before Magistrate Judge Bruce MacDonald on May 29 and May 30, 2018. He is being represented in this case as well by Greg Kuykendall and Amy Knight. Anna Wright and Nathaniel Walters (Assistant U.S. Attorneys) appeared in court for the U.S. government.
Other 8 defendants' Misdemeanor cases.
Eight other NMD volunteers are charged with combinations of Operating a Vehicle in a Wilderness Area, Entering a National Wildlife Refuge Without a Permit, and Abandonment of Property from two alleged incidents in July and August. All charges are Misdemeanors. The defendants are split into two groups of 4 that each share the same case.
These 8 defendants had a status hearing Friday (2/23). They are represented by Chris Dupont and Ann Chapman. One group's trial is scheduled for
June 26-28, 2018, and the other for July 16-18, 2018. Both cases will be bench trials argued before Magistrate Judge Bruce MacDonald.
That's all for now!