Joe Robertson Needs Your Prayers
*Update – Navy Vet Joe Robertson passed away on March 18, 2019.
by Shari Dovale
In 2016, Navy veteran Joe Robertson was prosecuted for polluting “waters of the United States” and damaging federal property. His alleged crime was to use an excavator to dig several small ponds on his property adjacent to public 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 scrapped with the government, by way of the Forest Service and the EPA, for years. The harassment by the government began over a decade ago, 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.
After an earlier trial ended in a hung jury, Robertson was convicted and sent to Federal Prison for violations of the Clean Water Act, despite evidence of missteps and possible malfeasance on the part of EPA agents
After 16 months in federal prison, Joe Robertson’s appeal was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle.
Robertson’s case drew support from around the country, including help from the Pacific Legal Foundatin, who took up Robertson’s case. In a press release, PLF was optimistic about Robertson’s appeal:
The federal government does not have the power to regulate the use of every drop of water in the nation, but at times the federal government acts like it has that authority. That is what happened in Mr. Robertson’s case, as well as the Sackett and Duarte cases. Since the Sackett and Duarte cases are pending in district courts within the Ninth Circuit’s jurisdiction, the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Robertson may control the outcome in their cases. For this reason, we filed our amicus brief. We look forward to Mr. Robertson’s exoneration on the Clean Water Act conviction, which should also finally bring the Sackett and Duarte cases to a close, as well.
This, however, did not sway the Federal government or courts. Robertson has continued his fight for his property since his release from prison.
The stress of the ongoing battle to save his property from confiscation has taken it’s toll on Robertson. His family has dealt with numerous, continuing issues since his release from prison.
On Saturday, March 16th, it was announced that Joe had suffered a severe stroke. He is currently in the hospital, and his family is concerned that he may not ever come home.
Joe has suffered a stroke this week and the neurologists say he will never recover. He can not speak and keeps his eyes closed. He is breathing on his own but the doctors say he will never regain full consciousness. He now has a bubble on the left side of his brain that is inoperable.
His wife said she knows he can hear talking them because he begins to make sounds and get very agitated every time someone speaks of the government overreach. Joe is still fighting their tyranny even while his life is fading.
His wife said he will not leave the hospital alive but they don’t know how long he has. It could be any day but his body won’t survive or be healed from this stroke outside of a miracle.
The family has contacted to Mayo clinic, looking for a neurologist to give a second opinion. Please join them, and the thousands of his supporters, in prayer for his recovery.
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