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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 1, 2019

No More Deaths Volunteers Sentenced on the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

     TUCSON, Ariz. – Today, Zaachila Isabel Orozco-McCormick, Natalie Renee Hoffman, Oona Meagan Holcomb, and Madeline Abbe Huse, volunteers with No More Deaths, were sentenced to 15 months of unsupervised probation, fined $250.00 each, and banned from the refuge for the duration of their probation. The defendants were previously convicted at trial for entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning personal property. Hoffman was also convicted of operating a motor vehicle in a wilderness area.

     On Aug. 13, 2017, United States Fish and Wildlife Service officers assigned to the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo, Ariz. responded to a group of trespassers who were operating a motor vehicle in a protected wilderness area. Hoffman admitted to driving the car into the wilderness area, and all the defendants admitted to entering the refuge without a permit and leaving a stash of water and canned food at Charlie Bell Well. On Jan. 18, 2019, after a three-day bench trial, the Court found the defendants guilty on all charges, rejecting the defendants’ multiple defenses.

     “I commend the excellent work by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service officers and their commitment to preserving the lands Congress has designated as national wildlife refuges,” stated First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange. “Our office will continue to review potential violations on federal lands on a case-by-case basis and bring charges, as appropriate.”

     Amy Lueders, Service Southwest Regional Direction for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service stated, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appreciates the diligence and professionalism of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in prosecuting this case."

     The investigation in this case was conducted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the prosecution was handled by Anna Wright and Nathaniel Walters, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.

 

CASE NUMBER:                  CR-17-00339-MJ

RELEASE NUMBER:           2019-022_No_More_Deaths

 

For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az

Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, on Twitter @USAO_AZ for the latest news.

Topic(s): 
Environment
Wildlife
Human Smuggling
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
2019-022_No_More_Deaths/CR-17-00339-MJ
Updated March 1, 2019