Criminal Charges Against Students Involved With Border Patrol Confrontation Dropped


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Neetu Arnold Contributor
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The Pima County Attorney’s Office dropped criminal charges against three University of Arizona students allegedly involved in a confrontation with U.S. Border Patrol agents in March.

University police gave Denisse Moreno Melchor, 20; Mariel Alexandra Bustamante, 22; and Marianna Ariel Coles Curtis, 27, misdemeanor citations for interfering with peaceful conduct of an educational institution. Melchor was also handed a citation for threats and intimidation, the Arizona Daily Star reported Tuesday.


The students allegedly called the Border Patrol agents an “extension of the KKK” and chanted “murder patrol.” The officials were on campus speaking to a criminal justice students club as part of Career Day on March 19, according to Campus Reform.

Charges were dropped Sunday following mass protests at the university, The Arizona Republic reported. While it is not clear why the charges were dropped, the university is conducting its own review to see if students violated any codes.

“We are happy to announce that our charges have been dropped by the Pima County District Attorney’s Office,” the students wrote in a Facebook post Monday. “We know that this was only made possible by the massive community support we have received, both on campus and off. For the past week people have been flooding the District Attorney’s office with calls demanding that our charges be dropped and that the University of Arizona’s attempts to criminalize and silence students be stopped.”

Chief Deputy County Attorney Amelia Cramer said the office “does not make prosecutorial decisions based upon public lobbying efforts,” the Star reported. The attorney’s office filed motions to dismiss the charges Friday, which means they could be brought again in the future.

Cramer added the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD) filed the original charges, according to the Star. (RELATED: Student Accepted To Attend Michigan College Beheaded In Saudi Arabia)

“The University is aware of the Pima County Attorney’s determination in the March 19th incident involving our students,” UA spokesman Chris Sigurdson said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Wednesday. “We respect the decision and will continue to follow our processes and the law. The University is moving forward with the Dean of Students’ process review of the incident per our policies.”

Pima County Attorney’s Office and UAPD did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comment.

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