No More Deaths volunteer Catherine Gaffney discussed the January 18th, 2019 guilty verdict handed down by a federal magistrate to four volunteers who say they were providing humanitarian aid on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in 2017. The four were charged with entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandonment of property (water). One of the volunteers was charged with operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area.
The volunteers have yet to be sentenced on the federal misdemeanor charges, but they face up to 6 months in federal prison and a fine of up to $500. Five more volunteers facing charges begin their trials on February 26 and March 4.
The 800,000 acre Cabeza Prieta shares a border with Mexico along with other federal lands such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. This remote area is heavily trekked by migrants heading to the United States. 155 migrant remains have been recovered in this area since 2001.
Recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.