Border Vigilante, Tancredo Supporter, Ordered To Pay

Roger Barnett, an Arizona resident who has contributed financially to Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo, has been ordered to pay $98,000 after a jury found him responsible for the assault and false imprisonment of a group of Mexican-American hunters.From the AP report:

SIERRA VISTA – A civil jury ordered a southeast Arizona rancher to pay a Douglas family nearly $100,000 for a 2004 incident in which he confronted their hunting party while armed with an assault rifle.

The Cochise County jury in Bisbee on Wednesday found Douglas rancher Roger Barnett the only partly responsible for the incident, assessing damages at $210,000, but ordering him to pay $98,000 after laying part of the blame on two men in the hunting party.

As reported by Colorado Confidential in August, Barnett have given a total of $2,000 to Tancredo, the controversial Congressman who said this week that the city of Miami was a “third world country.”

More on the specifics:

The lawsuit said the Morales party was legally crossing land that Barnett leases from the state when the incident happened.

Barnett is an anti-illegal immigrant activist who claims to have detained more than 10,000 migrants in the last 10 years. He denied threatening the hunting party, testifying that he took out his AR-15 rifle only because the adults in the group were carrying rifles.

The Morales party, American citizens of Mexican descent, said Barnett insulted them with racial slurs and threatened to shoot them. Barnett denied the allegations.

According to the article, the suit was sponsored by the Border Action Network and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two civil rights groups.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) also has a pending lawsuit against Barnett for another incident where he is accused of assaulting and detaining a group of migrants.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at