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Sanctuary Defendants Profiled, Disposition of Charges With PM-Sanctuary Trial Bjt

May 2, 1986

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Here are thumbnail sketches of the 11 sanctuary trial defendants and the disposition of charges against them.

-The Rev. John M. Fife III, 46, pastor of Southside Prebyterian Church in Tucson and considered one of the originators of the nationwide grass-roots movement which has aided Central Americans as refugees seeking political asylum. Fife’s church was the first in Tucson and one of the first four nationwide to publicly declare themselves sanctuaries in 1982, after Fife was approached by movement founder James Corbett.

Fife was convicted of conspiracy and of two felony counts of aiding transporation of an alien. He was acquitted of a misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting illegal entry of an alien.

-Corbett, 52, a Harvard-educated rancher and Quaker activist forced to retire in 1976 because of a disability caused by severe arthritis. He began the ″underground railroad″ movement in 1981 after learning of the arrest of a Salvadoran whom two friends had given a ride.

Corbett was acquitted of all charges.

-The Rev. Ramon Dagoberto Quinones, 50, of Nogales, Mexico, a Roman Catholic priest for 25 years. His parish, El Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, raises food to help Central Americans jailed by Mexico for immigration violations. He has said he aided Salvadorans and Guatemalans because of his priestly duty to help the persecuted and house the homeless.

Quinones was convicted of conspiracy and one misdemeanor count, and found innocent of two other felony charges.

-Sister Darlene Nicgorski, 42, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, worked with preschool children in Guatemala in 1980 and fled in July 1981 when her pastor was killed. She moved to Honduras, then to Chiapas, Mexico, to work with Guatemalan refugees in border camps, before going to Phoenix and becoming involved with the Phoenix Interfaith Task Force on Central America. In October 1983 she was asked by the Chicago Religious Task Force on Central America to help coordinate Phoenix-area transportation of refugees.

She was found guilty of conspiracy and other felony counts of transporting or harboring aliens. She was found innocent of one felony count of aiding transportation of an alien.

-The Rev. Tony Clark, 37, of Nogales, Ariz., parish priest of Sacred Heart Church who is on loan from the Roman Catholic diocese in Davenport, Iowa. He is administrator and co-founder of Casa de Guadalupe Boys Home and chaplain at Lourdes Academy and the Santa Cruz County Detention Center, all in Nogales. He also coaches a city boxing team that his church sponsors.

Clark was convicted of concealing, harboring and shielding an alien. He was found innocent of aiding and abetting transportation of an illegal alien. Clark was found innocent on the conspiracy charge.

-Philip Willis-Conger, 28, director of the Tucson Ecumenical Council’s Task Force on Central America since June 1982. He previously served as volunteer missionary at the Tucson Metropolitan Ministry and was commuunity organizer at Menlo Park Church in Tucson. He was acquitted in 1984 of charges of transporting four Salvadorans from Nogales, Ariz., when a federal judge found that Border Patrol agents did not have proper reason for stopping the car he was driving.

Willis-Conger was found guilty of conspiracy, and one felony and one misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting transportation of an alien. He was found innocent of two other felony and one misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting transportation of an alien. Willis-Conger also was found innocent of a felony count of concealing, harboring and shielding an illegal alien and one of encouraging and inducing illegal aliens.

-Mary K. Doan Espinoza, 31, of Nogales, Ariz., coordinator of religious education for Sacred Heart Church and co-founder with Clark of the Casa de Guadalupe Boys Home. Mrs. Espinoza, a mother of four, is the daughter of former Nogales Mayor Arthur Doan.

She was acquitted of all charges.

-Margaret Jean ″Peggy″ Hutchison, 31, director of border ministry for the Tucson Metropolitan Ministry and the Pacific Southwest Annual Conference United Methodist Church. She is married and a graduate student at the University of Arizona.

She was convicted of conspiracy, and found innocent of a misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting illegal entry.

-Maria del Socorro Pardo de Aguilar, 60, of Nogales, Mexico. Mrs. Aguilar, long active as a layworker in Quinones’ parish, frequently has visited a prison in Nogales where Central Americans are jailed for Mexican immigration violations. She also has made her home available as a shelter to Mexicans and Central Americans traveling through Nogales on their way to the United States. She and Quinones were the only Mexican nationals charged.

She was found guilty of conspiracy and another felony count, and innocent of four other felony charges.

-Nena MacDonald, 38, of Lubbock, Texas, a Quaker and sanctuary movement volunteer through the Tucson Ecumenical Council’s refugee task force in Tucson during 1984. Shee is married, has two children, holds a nursing degree and is a graduate student in counseling at Texas Tech University.

She was acquitted of all charges.

-Wendy LeWin, 26, of Phoenix, is a church layworker serving refugees in Phoenix through the Central American Refugee Project. She worked for the federal government with Cuban refugees in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arkansas after graduation from the University of Wisconsin.

She was convicted of one felony count of transporting an illegal alien and acquitted of conspiracy.

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