77-Year Old Disabled Vet Imprisoned for Building a Stock Pond


Navy vet Joe Robertson
Navy vet Joe Robertson

Update: Mr. Robertson was given an 18-month sentence.

Joe Robertson, a 77-year old veteran, has been convicted of defying the Federal government through the Clean Water Act. Because of a stock pond, he has been imprisoned, he was facing life and forfeiture of his property, thrown into solitary confinement and had his belongings stolen by guards, according to him. His final sentence was 18 months in prison.

Disabled Navy veteran Joseph Robertson of Basin, Montana, and his wife, Carri, own about 200 acres of beautiful Montana mountain land.

Due to multiple fires in the area over the past several years, Robertson has maintained and improved his property by building stock ponds for his animals and fire prevention for his and the neighbor properties.

But, he has also battled with the government, by way of the Forest Service and the EPA, for years. The harassment by the government began over a decade ago, he said. They have been complaining that he was not allowed to repair the road that leads to his private property. This came to a head in 2013 when they charged this disabled veteran for violation of the Clean Water Act.

The government contends that nine stock ponds affect approximately one-tenth (1/10) of an acre of discharged pollutants into the Jefferson River, nearly 60 miles away.

The first trial was held last year and ended in a hung jury. The second trial ended in a conviction and he received 18 months in prison.

Click the link to read about what some say is the unconstitutional treatment by the Federal government through the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Joe Robertson had been put into Solitary Confinement for getting upset at what he says is illegal activity he observed.

He said he only asked to have his mail marked “Legal” to not be searched outside of his presence and they threw him in the hole.

Allegedly, he still has not received proper medical treatment for his strokes, his dizziness, or his PTSD. He is having heart issues that they have not bothered to diagnose. He needs to get to a hospital, yet the Federal Government, through FCI Englewood, refuses to do so.

Instead, he was sent to Solitary Confinement for 3-4 weeks. He was there for over a week when he was unexpectedly released because it is Veterans Day. However, when he was returned to his cell, he found that the guards had stolen all of his belongings, including everything he had purchased from the prison commissary.

His friends and family have been in constant contact with Senator Cory Gardner, who has thus far refused to get personally involved. They have also contacted Congressman Mike Coffman.  They have all been too busy with the recent election to take the time to help Joe.

The elections are over. All of these folks that were running have now been reelected. They no longer have this excuse.

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Terry Schuck CPCU
Terry Schuck CPCU
5 years ago

Sara, I attempted to share this on FB and I got a message that Page Could Not Be Found. I tried copying it from my browser and posting to FB and got same result.