We Must Be Kept Safe From Joe Robertson!
I first met Joe Robertson last summer while in Lincoln Montana. I had just been officially brought on as Media Director of the Oath Keepers, and was there working on some of the stories for the White Hope Mine operation. As is often the case, when someone finds that you are with the Oath Keepers, they tend to start to relay to you their own hardships and trials with the powers that be. In Joe’s case, it was with the Forest Service and the EPA. Joe is 77-year-old white haired, disabled, combat veteran who with all that he is going through always seems to greet you with a smile. We hit it off right away, he seemed like a long lost elderly uncle that you finally met later in life that fast become your favorite. There in Lincoln, at the Three Bears Motel, Joe found we Oath Keepers in one of the rooms that we were currently using as an impromptu media center. Joe came in and introduced himself, telling us that they were up in the area to help with the wildfires that were raging across the valley. Joe and his wife of 30+ years were too busy to really tell us their story, and at the time, they had no idea just how bad things would get as they were feeling confident that justice would prevail after hanging a jury in their first trial. Little did he know, at the time, the Federal Courts would be relentless in their pursuit.
So what crime had this obvious criminal mastermind, who was skillfully masquerading as a veteran volunteer firefighter, perpetrated upon the unsuspecting citizenry. What heinous danger was he bringing into their small mountain community, that would bring a Federal Judge out of retirement just to make sure that Joe spent, possibly, the rest of his life in prison, or at least lose his property, due to fines no average American could ever hope to pay? What vile act of terrorism did this man unleash?
Joe and his wife had put three small ponds onto their property. Ponds that they would use for the evil, vile purposes of watering their animals and fighting wild fires in their community. They also improved a road leading up to their property which includes 200 acres and an unpatented mining claim.
Let me try and cut out my sarcasm, but it can be so hard to keep hearing horror story after horror story of some old man or woman out in the woods being thrown off their own land and losing everything due to what can only honestly be described as a federal land and power grab. As we see family after family be put off their land, we must expect to see events like Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine Mine, White Hope Mine, and the Malheur Occupation become the norm. As with any social cycle of a growing abuse by the powers that be, we must expect to see a push back by the people who are everyday, becoming more and more desperate, to hold onto the last remaining scraps of the once great American Dream.
Joe and his wife have tried to live a simple life, being self-reliant and steadfast like the pioneers and miners that over 200 years ago started to build a life in South Western Montana. They generate their own electricity and raise a few animals. Joe also tries to help out his fellow veterans by allowing the use of his property by the Helena Veterans Support Unit. HVS helps his fellow vets to overcome PTSD and other combat related issues by organizing, hiking, sweat lodges, camping, and hunting on his property.
When they decided to put in ponds for their animals, and to use with their wild firefighting business they asked what permits they might need. They received a 310 permits and the rights to use the pond water from the DNRC (Department of Natural Resources and Conservation in Montana.) Joe and his wife believed they had done all they needed to.
That did not stop the EPA from charging Joe with two counts of depositing dredge materials into the United States water ways and one count of Depredation of Forest Service property. This is not the first time the Joe has faced these charges. The first time resulted in a hung jury, which Joe accredits to being lucky enough to have a few fellow veterans on the jury. The second time around he was not so lucky. Not only did his own public defender threaten to resign if he pushed the issue of bringing in an expert witness that wasn’t one of the EPA’s “experts.” As a matter of fact, Joe had an expert witness that completely blew away the whole federal narrative. This wasn’t coming from just anyone, it was coming from Ray Kagel of Kagel Environmental LLC Whose pedigree in the filed of Geological Survey is way to lengthy to go into but follow the link here. It should suffice to say that he took on the EPA going all the way to the Supreme Court and he won. But what Kagel Environmental had found was nothing new, before them there was yet another Survey done by Geolex out of Helena that found the same result. Both of these witnesses were barred from the court room according to Joe.
There is also a very disturbing story relayed to me by Joe that also has me wondering just how much stranger reality is than fiction. This story involves two Forest Service Law Enforcement Agents that were caught by witness and trail cam trespassing and what looks to be fabricating evidence. Approximately a week after Joe’s first trial resulted in a mistrial, he has summoned to by his public defender. While away from his property, Agents of the EPA were caught, on camera, removing some hosing from Joe’s fire truck and creating a drainage to down the canyon and into a tributary Cataract Creek which they videoed as “evidence.” They were caught by Joe, his neighbors, and trail cam. Yet, in an Ex-Parte hearing Judge Malloy did not find this as an attempt to manufacture evidence and it had no bearing on the case.
As we see so very often these days, there is so little resembling justice in our court systems. It seems the average “Joe” can never get a fair shake. So now Joe has been convicted, and could face the rest of his life behind bars and lose his home of over forty years. The EPA who literally poisoned the Animus River in Colorado is turning it day-glow yellow and got off scott-free (well I am willing to bet someone got a promotion in the end,) and now Joe Robertson and his wife stand to lose everything. I am not sure what we can do at this point. I would encourage everyone to try and make it to his sentencing this upcoming Wednesday July 20th in Missoula, please be professional and peaceful as we stand with Joe, and let our voices be heard that we see this and expect those who are entrusted with the safe guarding of Liberty and Justice to do their jobs with integrity and honor. See the flyer for more information below.
I know of people from 6 states so far that will be traveling to stand with Joe and The National Stand By Me For Liberty will be kicking off their caravan to DC from Joe’s Sentencing.
Jason Van Tatenhove