Walt Staton Antigovernment Activist, Charges Dismissedby Karl W Hoffman on Jan. 12, 2011, under Uncategorized
Updated: Statement from Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge Manager Sally Gall
Quietly and very anticlimactic, a deal was reached for an activist bent on breaking the law.
After tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, over 25 months in court and threatened with jail time, Walt Staton is free to continue his antigovernment agenda. The so called faith based humanitarian groups, No More Deaths and the Samaritans rallied in his defense through media manipulation with their “Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime” campaign, endless demonstrations, anti government tactics, and breaking the the law, all to peruse their goals of supporting illegal immigration, open borders, people smuggling and criminal activity.
Dan Millis a volunteer for No More Deaths got the first ticket on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in Southern Arizona. Millis was contacted by Refuge law enforcement officers and asked not to place gallon water jugs on the refuge. He refused their request and did what he wanted to do, Dan Millis received a littering ticket which started the two year attack on BANWR by humanitarian groups. To justify his actions Millis claimed that he had found the body of a young girl in the desert days prior to the ticket incident and that there were illegal migrants dying of thirst on the Refuge. In fact he capitalized on this young girls death who was left by her own people by a spring feed water hole and died from hypothermia in another area of Southern Arizona. Note that Dan Millis now works for the Sierra Club which is committed to wildlife and wilderness protection but stanch supporter of No More Deaths and was a powerful ally through official statements made in defense of the littering tickets on the Refuge. Dan Millis now has a Sierra Club office in Tucson. Millis was found guilty by a Tucson jury but it was over turned trough an appeal by the 9th Circuit Court.
In support of Dan Millis, Walt Staton deliberately got a littering ticket on BANWR two years ago for also putting out plastic bottles of water on trails in the refuge, aiding criminal activity and adversely affecting the ecology. BANWR is a hot spot for people and dug smuggling. Refuge law enforcement officers have long been battling this problem but it got worse since the Cartels took over the town of Sasabe Mexico just a few miles away. One Refuge officer stated that the new wall along the border between BANWR and Mexico has defiantly helped cut down on the smuggling vehicles and is allowing the delicate habitat to repair itself. Criminal foot traffic is still a problem.
In a carefully crafted media stunt the groups No More Deaths, Samaratins and Humane Borders brought their own church groups and news team along with other major media to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge led by the Reverend John Fife who was convicted on federal charges during the Sanitary Movement of the 1980s, and the Reverend Gene Lefebvre. In a grand show of defiance they received 13 more tickets in a face off with Refuge law enforcement.
Staton received pro bono (free) legal defense through No More Deaths attorney Bill Walker and his assistant Sharon Barrnette. Millis along with the 13 other tickets also received pro bono legal defense, so why would it mater what it costs the taxpayers in this time of recession and cutbacks to needed community services as long as it brought attention to their particular agenda ?
According to Sally Gall, Refuge Manager, BANWR understands the problems surrounding the border issues but refuge Law enforcement officers will enforce strict compliance to the Compatibility Determination , which combines various regulations, requiring new safety standards and applies federal laws with the Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of the Interior. Manager Gall states that through the new U.S. Fish and Wildlife policy, Humanitarian groups, breaking the law on federal property will no longer be facing just a littering ticket.