Judge orders records in border activist Scott Warren’s arrest unsealed

Judge orders records in border activist Scott Warren’s arrest unsealed
Arizona border activist Scott Warren. (Source: Source; KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the government to unseal text messages between agents involved in the arrest of an Arizona border activist who was tried on charges of immigrant harboring and conspiracy.

The judge on Thursday ruled in favor of a coalition of news organizations, including The Associated Press, to unseal the records. The judge said the public has a right to know and the government didn’t show a compelling reason for keeping them secret.

A jury was deadlocked on charges against Scott Warren in the Tucson trial in June. Prosecutors who said the immigrants Warren helped weren’t in distress said they will try Warren again on just a harboring charge.

Warren has claimed he was fulfilling his duty to help others when he encountered two migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Warren, a volunteer for “No More Deaths,” was arrested in early 2018. The arrest came only hours after the group released video of Border Patrol agents kicking over water jugs meant for immigrants.

Warren was one of nine volunteers who left food and water for border crossers in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

The eight others from the group were sentenced on misdemeanor charges.