A Tucson man is convicted of littering on federal land because he left jugs of water for illegal immigrants walking through the desert.
Walt Staton, 27, a volunteer with the humanitarian group No More Deaths, faces up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine. He will be sentenced Aug. 11.
Staton said he will continue leaving water despite the conviction, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
"I was just trying to save lives," he told the paper. "…We're not asking permission from the United States to save people's lives. We never have, because we know they'd say no."
His lawyer argued that leaving full water jugs didn't constitute littering just because someone else disposed the empty container elsewhere.
Prosecutors argued it shouldn't matter what Staton's intentions were. If it did, "Every bank robber would come in here and say they did it to save their dying grandmother," Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Lee said.
Staton was cited Dec. 4 for littering when U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted him placing unopened gallon containers of water in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge southwest of Tucson.
Photo: A group of migrants cross the desert between Sasabe, Mexico, and Sasabe, Arizona. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)