Daily Signal: The name of a Navy veteran may be cleared after he was convicted, fined, and imprisoned for digging ponds in a wooded area near his Montana home, to supply water in case of fire.
The Supreme Court has vacated a lower court ruling against Joe Robertson, who was sent to federal prison and ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution through deductions from his Social Security checks.
Any definitive legal victory for Robertson would be posthumous, since he died March 18 at age 80.
But his lawyers describe the Supreme Court’s action as a “big win” for Robertson’s widow, Carrie, who plans to carry on the fight.
President Barack Obama’s Justice Department had prosecuted Robertson for digging in “navigable waters” without a permit, in violation of the Clean Water Act.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling against Robertson in November 2017 and denied him a rehearing in July 2018.
The Navy veteran’s initial trial at the district court level resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial. He then was convicted after a second district court trial.
Robertson was 78 when he was sentenced in 2016; he completed his 18 months behind bars in late 2017. At the time of his death, he was supposed to be on parole for another 20 months. more here