A homeless man from Telluride, Colorado was sentenced to six months in prison for dumping thousands of pounds of trash in the Uncompahgre National Forest over a period of several months.
41-year-old Benjamin Yoho was convicted and sentenced early this week by U.S. Magistrate David L. West in Durango, reports USA Today.
Yoho lived in an illegally built structure on the National Forest System Lands between October 2014 and April 2015, according to the Department of Justice. During that time, officials say he transported large quantities of trash and other items near the Jud Wiebe Trail.
Dozens of workers from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control removed nearly 8,500 pounds of trash from the forest by helicopter in May.
Yoho’s littering was a “full-scale trashing of the public lands and merited a term of incarceration,” said John Walsh, Colorado U.S. Attorney.
This was no ordinary case of littering in the National Forest — this was full-scale trashing of the public lands and merited a term of incarceration.
The litter removed included recycled items from the Telluride “Free Box,” reports Fox News.
Yoho’s sentence includes one year of probation after his release from prison.
Sheriff Bill Masters of San Miguel County said that the sentence should serve as a warning to the public that trashing the forest is not acceptable, and comes with consequences.
Yoho took advantage of the charity offered from the “Telluride community and made a mockery of it,” said Sheriff Masters.
Unfortunately, the defendant in this case took advantage of the charitable nature of the Telluride community and made a mockery of it.
In early August, another Colorado criminal was sentenced when James Holmes was given live in prison for the deadly Colorado movie theater shooting in 2012.