NPR logo Good Samaritan Sentenced For 'Littering' In Wildlife Refuge; Left Water For Illegals

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Good Samaritan Sentenced For 'Littering' In Wildlife Refuge; Left Water For Illegals

A water bottle in the Arizona desert in this May 5, 2004 file photo. Matt York/AP Photo hide caption

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Matt York/AP Photo

A water bottle in the Arizona desert in this May 5, 2004 file photo.

Matt York/AP Photo

When is being a good Samaritan punishable under federal law? When the Samaritan litters in the process of helping other human beings.

Walt Staton, a volunteer with the group "No More Deaths" which provides humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants making the perilous trek across the arid southern border, left water jugs for migrants passing through the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

In June, a federal jury found him guilty of littering and on Wednesday a federal judge sentenced him to do 300 hours of trash pickup on public lands and one year of unsupervised probation. Furthermore, he's not allowed to enter the refuge for a year.

The Associated Press reports that Staton was applauded by members of the humanitarian group as he left the courthouse. The group reports on its website that the "court was packed with supporters, and many more were not allowed and waited in the hallway."

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